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Nancy Tuana


Nancy Tuana is the DuPont/Class of 1949 Professor of Philosophy and was the founding director of Penn State’s Rock Ethics Institute (rockethics.psu.edu).  Dr. Tuana is a philosopher of science who specializes in issues of ethics and science. She is part of an interdisciplinary research team at Penn State that has developed a more robust model of scientific ethics to more adequately reflect the impacts of ethical issues in scientific practice. 


Tuana is Co-PI of the NSF Sustainability Research Network on Sustainable Climate Risk Management (SCRiM scrimhub.org).  Her research for this project focuses on coupled ethical-epistemic issues in the field of climate science and decision support. As part of SCRiM, she was involved in the creation of a new approach to mental models in the context of risk communication and tradeoff analysis which we have labeled,  “values-informed mental models (ViMM).” ViMM enables an explicit focus on values-identification using empirically grounded qualitative analyses. Given that decisionmakers’ and analysts’ values can influence the choices made regarding what is salient to a context, how tradeoffs are framed, parameterization of models, or the significance level for accuracy in empirical studies, ViMM provides a valuable method for identifying and characterizing individuals’ values as well as the beliefs and assumptions that influence their decisions.  


She is also engaged in research on justice issues in the context of climate change and is author of a number of articles on the topic of gender and climate change.

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