Nancy Tuana

Nancy Tuana Directorship in the Rock Ethics Institute

DuPont/Class of 1949 Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies


Nancy Tuana is the founding director of Penn State’s Rock Ethics Institute and DuPont/Class of 1949 Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies. Dr. Tuana is a philosopher of science who specializes in issues of ethics and science.

Dr.Tuana is part of an interdisciplinary research team at Penn State that has developed a more robust model of research ethics to more adequately reflect the impacts of ethical issues in scientific practice.  Building on this work, she is examining coupled ethical-epistemic issues in the field of climate science.  She is doing this work as part of an NSF sponsored research network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management that links a transdisciplinary team of scholars at 19 universities and 5 research institutions across 6 nations to answer the question, “What are sustainable, scientifically sound, technologically feasible, economically efficient, and ethically defensible climate risk management strategies?  She is also doing research on feminist philosophical approaches to climate change and is guest editor, with Chris Cuomo, of the Hypatia special issue on climate change.

The Rock Ethics Institute, under her direction, had taken the lead nationally and internationally in developing innovative and deeply interdisciplinary modes of engaging in socially relevant ethics research through embedding ethical analysis into research in the sciences and engineering, and by catalyzing research on ethically responsible policy making.  Current research foci include climate change ethics, food ethics, industry sponsorship of research, global ethics, and moral literacy and moral development.

Representative Publications

Tuana, Nancy.  (2012). Embedding Philosophers in the Practices of Science: Bringing Humanities to the Sciences, Synthese: An International Journal for Epistemology, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, published online DOI: 10.1007/s11229-012-0171-2, 18 September.

Tuana, Nancy. (2010). Leading with Ethics, Aiming for Policy: New Opportunities for Philosophy of Science, Synthese: An International Journal for Epistemology, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, 177: 471-492.

Tuana, Nancy, Ryan Sriver, Toby Svoboda, Roman Olson, Peter J. Irvine, Jacob Haqq-Misra, and Klaus Keller. (2012). Towards Integrated Ethical and Scientific Analysis of Geoengineering: A Research Agenda, Ethics, Policy and Environment Vol. 15, No. 2, 136-157.

Tuana, Nancy. (2013). Gendering Climate Knowledge for Justice: Catalyzing a New Research Agenda. Research, Action and Policy: Addressing the Gendered Impacts of Climate Change. Eds. M. Alston and K. Whittenbury, pp. 14-31.

Schienke, Erich, Seth Baum, Nancy Tuana, Ken Davis, and Klaus Keller.  (2011). Intrinsic Ethics Regarding Integrated Assessment Models for Climate Management.Science and Engineering Ethics. 17, 3:503-523.

Schienke, Erich, Nancy Tuana, Don Brown, Ken Davis, Klaus Keller, James Shortle, Michelle Stickler, and Seth Baum. (2009). The Role of the NSF Broader Impacts Criterion in Enhancing Research Ethics Pedagogy. Social Epistemology. 23(3-4): 317-336.

Goes, Marlos, Nancy Tuana, and Klaus Keller. (2011). The Economics (or lack thereof) of Aerosol Geoengineering, Climatic Change, Change, 109, 3: 719-744.

Svoboda, Toby, Marlos Goes, Klaus Keller, and Nancy Tuana. (2011). Sulfate Aerosol Geoengineering: The Question of Justice, Public Affairs Quarterly, 25, 3: 157-180.