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2023-24: COMPAS Directions

COMPAS Directions

The Center for Ethics and Human Values is proud to recognize 10 years of ethical exploration and dialogue via our COMPAS program!

Through this unique program, CEHV has fostered civil and informed discussions on controversial topics of public concern. By inviting distinguished guests and colleagues to engage across disciplines and perspectives, COMPAS has created a dynamic and enduring space for nuanced understanding and transformative problem-solving. Additionally, the program has encouraged meaningful interactions among these experts and event attendees, providing a platform for critical and constructive group reflection on timely moral matters.

Each year, COMPAS has focused on a specific theme to unite its events and guide an ongoing discussion. As we look back at 10 years of programming, we return to these themes to highlight the continuing urgency and complexity of these conversations. By doing so, we invite you to celebrate the many thoughtful directions our participants have pointed toward in responding to the shared ethical challenges of our world.

We look forward to seeing you during an event for COMPAS Directions:  A Decade of Ethical Exploration!


Themes include:

  • Immigration
  • Public/Private
  • Sustainability
  • Inequality
  • Religion in Public Life
  • Technology
  • What is America?
  • COVID-19
  • Markets and the Open Society
  • Education in our Democracy


COMPAS Directions Events

Autumn 2023

September 8, 2023: Can Education Save Democracy?

Panelists: Dr Michele S Moses (Professor of Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice, University of Colorado Boulder); Dr Rachel Wahl (Associate Profressor Education Leadership, Foundations & Policy, University of Virginia); moderator Dr Winston C Thompson (Associate Professor of Philosophy of Education, Ohio State University).

October 20, 2023: The Open Society Moment

Speaker Mark Lilla (Professor of Humanities, Columbia University) and discussants Dorothy Noyes (Distinguished Professor of English and Director of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, Ohio State) and Piers Norris Turner (Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Ethics and Human Values, Ohio State). 

November 13, 2023: Is COVID Over? For Whom? Who Decides?

Panelists: Lindsay F Wiley (Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Health Law and Policy Program, UCLA); Doron Dorfman (Associate Professor of Law, Seton Hall); moderator Ruqaiijah Yearby (Kara J Trott Professor in Law, Ohio State).

December 1, 2023: (When) do states have the right to seal their borders?


Panelists: Sefa Secen (Postdoctoral Scholar, Mershon Center for International Security Studies, Ohio State); Kit Wellman (Professor of Philosophy, Washington University in St Louis); moderator Aaron Yarmel (Associate Director of the Center for Ethics and Human Values, Ohio State). 

Spring 2024

January 19, 2024: Religion, Post-Liberalism, and Democracy


Panelists: Kevin Vallier (Associate Professor of Philosophy, Bowling Green State University); Michael A Neblo (Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institute for Democratic Engagement and Accountability (IDEA), Ohio State); moderator Kathryn Joyce (Civil Discourse Program Director, Center for Ethics and Human Values, Ohio State). 

February 8-20, 2024: COMPAS Directions Exhibition (Hopkins Hall lobby)

February 9, 2024: Money, Democracy, and Institutional Capture


Speaker Samuel Bagg (Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of South Carolina) and commentators Naomi Scheinerman (Assistant Professor of Bioethics, Ohio State) and Vladimir Kogan (Professor of Political Science, Ohio State).

February 23, 2024: From Identity Politics to Income Inequality

Panelists: Vivek Chibber (Professor of Sociology, New York University); Derrick Darby (Henry Rutgers Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers University); moderator Sahar Heydari Fard (Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Ohio State).

March 22, 2024: Identities: How Public and/or Private Should They Be?

Panelists: Robin Dembroff (Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Yale); Jay Sosa (Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, Bowdoin); moderator Erin Moore (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Ohio State).

April 5, 2024: Generative Artificial Intelligence and the Alignment Problem

Panelists: Kevin Scharp (Professor of Philosophy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Micha Elsner (Associate Professor of Linguistics, Ohio State); moderator Bryan Weaver (Senior Lecturer, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Ohio State). 

April 19, 2024: Sustainability and Phronesis 

Panelists: Randy Curren (Professor and Chair of Philosophy and Professor of Education, University of Rochester); Elena Irwin (Sustainability Institute Faculty Director, University Distinguished Professor of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in Economics and Sustainability, Ohio State); moderator Greg Hitzhusen (Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Religion, Ecology, and Sustainability, Ohio State).