Home > People > Robert M. Chiles

Robert M. Chiles

by rjp218 Mar 26, 2020
Robert M. Chiles

Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology

Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education

College of Agricultural Sciences

Research Associate in the Rock Ethics Institute

110C Armsby Building
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-8626


  1. PhD, Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  2. MS, Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  3. BA, Philosophy and Political Science, Stanford University


Robert M. Chiles is an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education and the Department of Food Science and a research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute. He received his PhD from the Department of Community & Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Broadly, his research and teaching interests involve examining how agricultural ethics and sustainability are interwoven with the everyday lives of ordinary people. He is currently exploring how the social acceptability of meat has been disrupted and re-negotiated in light of growing controversies over health, food safety, sustainability, and ethics. Chiles’ earlier work analyzed the ethics and cultural politics of in vitro meat (a nascent technology that attempts to produce meat from stem cells). His research has been published in Agriculture and Human Values, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, Controversies in Science and Technology: From Sustainability to Surveillance (Oxford, 2014), and Contexts.

Recently, Chiles’ scholarship was honored with the UW-Madison Department of Community & Environmental Sociology 2015 John H. Kolb Memorial Scholarship. He is also the recipient of an Integrating Research Ethics and Scholarship Fellowship and an Advanced Opportunity Fellowship, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School. He received his undergraduate degree in philosophy and political science from Stanford University.