I direct the Center for Public Philosophy at UC Santa Cruz. Founded in November 2015, the Center seeks to empower the public with the tools and insights of philosophy, and to help foster a more thoughtful, engaged community of thinkers.

The Center’s programs include:

High School Ethics Bowl
Teams from high schools across Northern California travel to UC Santa Cruz twice a year to engage in a new form of debate activity, based on real-life ethical issues.  Advanced students from UC Santa Cruz serve as coaches at the high schools.  To learn more, watch this documentary short about our efforts to bring the Ethics Bowl to a more diverse community of schools.

Philosophy in Jail
Inmates at local correctional facilities strengthen skills of reason, deliberation, and communication through supervised discussion of contemporary ethical questions.

Philosophy for Children
Faculty and graduate students from UC Santa Cruz bring philosophy alive for children at local elementary and middle schools, engaging them in sustained discussions of philosophical questions.



The Language of Conservation
Philosophers and biologists at UC Santa Cruz collaborate with specialists outside the walls of academia on the pivotal role language plays in derailing well-meaning conservationist efforts.

Contemplative Pedagogy and Practices
Faculty and graduate students in the humanities and social sciences at UC Santa Cruz investigate the promise of the contemplative traditions for navigating an array of persistent challenges in public education.