The Cornell Program on Ethics and Public Life promotes interdisciplinary learning about morally central questions concerning public policies and social, political and economic processes. Here are some of our activities, with links to further information.
Semester series. EPL organizes semester-long series in which distinguished visitors address diverse aspects of a topic of vital ethical and political importance. This Fall's topic is "After the American Century: Fears and Hopes for America's Future." Six distinguished visitors will address widely prevalent worries that the new normal condition of the United States stifles important aspirations that were viable in the past. Each visit includes a public lecture 4:30-6:00 on a Monday, in Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium. The visits with their public lecture days will be: September 9, Thomas Mann (Brookings Institution) on the causes, nature and future of polarization in American politics; September 23, Marilyn Young (History, NYU) on the exercise of American power abroad and the future of the American way of war; October 7, Richard Freeman (Economics, Harvard) on the impact on the U.S. of the global course of development; October 21, Daniel Rodgers (History, Princeton) on the recent history and prospects for change of moral presuppositions of American politics; November 4, Lisa Lynch (Economics, Brandeis) on economic security and the search for good jobs; November 18, Ellis Goldberg (Political Science, University of Washington) on democratic aspirations and American power in Egypt and the Middle East. Further information, including videos of the lectures, will be posted here.
There have been two previous series. In Fall 2012, Jacob Hacker (Political Science, Yale), Larry Bartels (Political Science, Vanderbilt), David Schmidtz (Philosophy, Arizona), Harry Brighouse (Philosophy, Wisconsin-Madison), Doug McAdam (Sociology, Stanford), and Hilary Hoynes (Economics, UC Davis) addressed the deep issues concerning economic inequality, liberty, and democracy raised by the 2012 presidential campaigns. In the spring 2012 series, David Kang (International relations, USC), Justin Yifu Lin (Chief Economist, World Bank), Rosemary foot (International Relations, Oxford), Joseph Chan (Politics, University of Hong Kong), Wang Shaoguang (Government, Chinese University of Hong Kong), and Wang Jisi (International Studies, Peking University) discussed the politics and ethics of the rise of China. An archive of videos of the public lectures in both series is available here.
Conferences, workshops and seminars in which visitors and Cornell faculty and graduate students share their current research. For example, major figures in ethics and its history came to discuss the diverse, fundamental topics of the work of Barbara Herman in a conference in September 2011.
Initiatives in undergraduate education. The Law and Society minor, open to all undergraduates, provides an opportunity for focused study of law and society from an interdisciplinary perspective. EPL-affiliated faculty and post-doctoral fellows teach a wide array of courses in ethics, social and political philosophy and the philosophy of law, including topics in international justice, biomedical ethics and environmental ethics.
Student awards. Our awards include the Neil Lubow Memorial Essay Prize, awarded each semester to an outstanding essay in ethics or ethical aspects of public policy in a Cornell writing course, and the Robert A. Hatfield Award supporting students in research on ethics in business.
Public lectures. EPL organizes and co-sponsors public lectures on leading issues of ethical and political concern.
If you would like to receive e-mail listserve event notifications, please contact the EPL Administrative Assistant, Margaret Nichols, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (607) 255-8515.