Stanford Center for Ethics in Society

Stanford University

The McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society is committed to bringing ethical reflection to bear on important social problems through research, teaching, and community engagement. Drawing on the established strengths of Stanford university interdisciplinary faculty, the Center develops initiatives with ethical dimensions that relate to pressing public problems.


The Undergraduate Honors Program in Ethics in Society was initiated in 1986 under the leadership of a "blue ribbon" steering committee that included Kenneth Arrow (Economics), Pat Suppes (Philosophy), John Ferejohn (Political Science), Arnold Eisen (Religious Studies), David Kennedy (History), Bart Bernstein (History), and Michael Bratman (Philosophy).

In 2003, Law Professor Deborah Rhode launched the Stanford Center on Ethics, focused on graduate and professional training in ethics.

In 2008, the Program in Ethics in Society and the Center on Ethics formally integrated into an enhanced Center for Ethics in Society under the directorship of Professor Debra Satz. That year, in recognition of a generous endowment by the Bowen H. “Buzz” McCoy family, the Center was renamed the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society.

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