Ethics is a topic of research activity across the University. Ethics research may be descriptive, prescriptive, or both.
- Descriptive research explores stakeholder values, telling us about the beliefs and attitudes that different people hold.
- Prescriptive research focuses not on what is, but on what ought to be – not on what values people actually hold, but on what values we should exhibit.
One of ASU’s signature strengths in ethics research is the combination of descriptive and prescriptive methods to enhance social and ethical deliberation amongst citizens. Whether the subject is nanotechnology, embryo research, institutional design, or religious conflict, ASU researchers generate resources and opportunities to enhance public deliberation about controversial and important issues.