Our Mission

The mission of the Rock Ethics Institute is to promote ethical awareness and inquiry across the University, and in the public and professional sectors, through a three-fold emphasis on teaching, research, and outreach.

EDUCATION: We support the ongoing development of innovative courses on theoretical and practical issues in ethics–and provide resources for faculty across Penn State to develop ethics modules tailored for their courses. Our ethics curriculum is designed to ensure that every student inherits a legacy of ethical integrity and ethical leadership as part of their Penn State education.

RESEARCH: We sponsor innovative, interdisciplinary research on ethical issues–research designed to impact scholarship, policy, and public dialogue.

OUTREACH: Working with community and public leaders through a variety of outreach activities, we support local, national, and international projects that promote general ethical awareness.

Guiding the work of the Rock Ethics Institute is our commitment to ethical literacy, which we define as the ability to recognize ethical problems and to assess the complex issues that they raise; and the ability to evaluate ethical problems from many perspectives and to assess disagreements on, and proposed responses to, these problems.

The Rock Ethics Institute aims to help people better understand the cultural–and frequently multi-cultural–contexts of ethical problems, disagreements, and responses. We believe that in today’s world, ethical literacy is essential to being active, informed citizens, and to living vibrant professional and personal lives.

Rockblogs grows out of our desire to involve the entire Penn State Community in the kind of active and productive discussions that is necessary for accomplishing our mission.  Your participation is not only welcome, but it is also necessary.  We ask that you please respect general rules of decorum in your posts and comments on our sites, and we reserve the right to edit and/or un-publish any entries that our editors deem to be contrary to the academic and educational missions of the Penn State Rock Ethics Institute and Penn State University.

Disclaimer: The Rockblogs are a forum to promote ethical awareness and inquiry across the Penn State Community and beyond. Blog posts aim to identify and clarify the often hidden moral dimensions of a topic or question, establish facts relevant to ethical analysis, and explain and evaluate the different ethical positions and arguments one might take on a particular issue or question. But blog posts ultimately represent the interests and judgments of each author as an individual scholar, and not official positions of the Rock Ethics Institute.