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.
"Where is China Headed?": EPL Online and On Campus. EPL is creating a structured set of free online videos
on where China is headed. Topics will include "At the Crossroads:
Hopes and Fears for China's Economy", "Migrant Workers' Lives and
Struggles, " (including extensive documentary material shot for the
video), "Demystifying Chinese Governance," "Protest Past:
Tiananmen 1989 in Depth" (including an audio recording made in the square
on June 4, 1989), "Protest Present: the Yue Yuen Strike and
Beyond," "Where Is the New Leadership Headed?", and "Is
Democracy in China's Future?" The videos will present powerful
documentary footage, and analysis, background and arguments from diverse
perspectives by leading experts at Cornell and elsewhere, both in the United
States and China. As part of their contributions to this project, Ching Kwan
Lee (Sociology, UCLA) and Tony Saich (Kennedy School of Government, Harvard)
will give public lectures at Cornell on the future of politics, protest and
governance in China, on September 22 and November 3. These videos are planned
as the first in a series of EPL online video sets, for access by individuals
and use in courses, addressing controversial public topics of vital humane
concern. They will be posted in this website and on YouTube. More information on this project (including videos of public lectures soon after they are delivered) is available here.
Semester series. EPL organizes semester-long series in which distinguished visitors address diverse aspects of a topic of vital ethical and political importance. The most recent topic was "After the American Century: Fears and Hopes for America's Future." Thomas Mann (Brookings Institution), Marilyn Young (History, NYU), Richard Freeman (Economics, Harvard), Daniel Rodgers (History, Princeton), Lisa Lynch (Economics, Brandeis), and Ellis Goldberg (Political Science, University of Washington) addressed widely prevalent worries that the new normal condition of the United States stifles important aspirations that were viable in the past. Other series topics have been "Deep Issues of the 2012 Elections: Equality, Liberty and Democracy" (with Jacob Hacker, Larry Bartels , David Schmidtz , Harry Brighouse, Doug McAdam, and Hilary Hoynes) and "The Politics and Ethics of the Rise of China" (with Justin Lin, Wang Shaoguang, Joseph Chan, Wang Jisi, Rosemary Foot and David Kang). An archive of videos of the public lectures in all three 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.