Don Thompson works in the area of ethics as related to food. He is interested in our understandings about the relationship between food and health, especially as these understandings are influenced by public relations and advertising in the marketing of food, food ingredients, and agricultural products. He takes a critical view about how research on food and health is at times performed, interpreted, and presented, particularly by those with an interest in the outcome.
Dr. Thompson has contributed to a collaborative research project led by Jonathan Marks, jointly funded by the Rock Ethics Institute and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics (through its Lab on Institutional Corruption), which explores the ethical and policy implications of industry sponsorship of health-related food research, nutrition education, and practice. Also with Jonathan Marks, he co-organized a workshop sponsored by the Rock Ethics Institute on “The Ethical Challenges and Policy Implications of Industry-Funded Health-Related Food Research” (Penn State, March 2008), a follow-up symposium entitled “Industry Sponsorship and Health-Related Food Research Institutional Integrity, Ethical Challenges, and Policy Implications” (Penn State, March 2012); and the Rock Ethics Institute’s Food Ethics Lecture Series 2011–12.