4:00-5:30p.m. (with reception to follow)
HUB, Heritage Hall
Co-Sponsored by the Rock Ethics Institute and the Center for Democratic Deliberation
Few issues animate Penn State students more than those related to food ethics. Under what conditions is it ethical to eat animals? Is genetically engineered food both safe and ethical? Does the government have a responsibility to address the problem of obesity--or is it a matter for individuals only? Should we strive to consume only those foods that are grown locally, under sustainable conditions? Do we have a responsibility to explore who benefits and who is harmed by the production of the foods we eat--and if so, what should each of us do? Should corporations be allowed to patent the seeds they develop through research?
In this event specifically designed for Paterno Fellows (it is a required for Paterno Fellows freshmen), students will debate these and related issues in a Town Hall Forum. First, a panel of faculty experts will frame the issues. What are the most pressing controversies, challenges, or problems relating to food production or consumption, and what kinds of questions need to be raised? What makes these controversies, challenges, or problems ethical issues? Are they local, national, or global problems? Who are the stakeholders, and what approaches currently are being employed to address those challenges or problems?
The experts enlisted to introduce the issues include Paul Thompson (W. H. Kellogg Professor of Agricultural, Food, and Community Ethics at Michigan State University); Leland Glenna (an award-winning faculty member in Penn State's College of Agriculture); Susan Squier (Brill Professor of Women's Studies, English, and Science Technology and Society--check out her Poultry Science, Chicken Culture blog spots); Don Thompson (Penn State professor of food science); Bryan McDonald (a Penn State professor whose book Food Security appeared last year); and Paterno Fellows senior Lisa Lotito (whose honors thesis in philosophy deals with food ethics).
Then for most of the sessions students will discuss the issues themselves in small groups of ten, develop recommendations, and share those recommendations in a Town Hall forum created by students involved with the College of the Liberal Arts Center for Democratic Deliberation.
Following the event, students will have a chance (as refreshments are served) to engage faculty and each other at a reception in Heritage Hall.
First-year aspiring Paterno Fellows are required to attend unless they have a class conflict.
(Final note: Prepare for the Forum, if you wish, by attending Paul Thompson's lecture on Monday, August 29 at 3:;00 p.m. in Foster Auditorium in Pattee Library. His title is "What Makes Food Good?)