I. Glenn Cohen, JD
Faculty Scholars Program Committee

I. Glenn Cohen, JD

  • James A. Attwood and Leslie Williams Professor of Law
  • Harvard Law School Faculty Director
  • Harvard Law School


A leading voice on the intersection of bioethics and law, Prof. Cohen is the author of more than 100 articles and chapters, and his award-winning work has appeared in leading legal (including the Harvard and Stanford Law Reviews), medical (including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA), bioethics (including the American Journal of Bioethics, the Hastings Center Report), scientific (Science, Cell, Nature Reviews Genetics) and public health (the American Journal of Public Health) journals, as well as op-eds in the New York Times and Washington Post. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of 13 books. His work has appeared in or been covered on PBS, NPR, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, Mother Jones, the New York Times, the New Republic, the Boston Globe, and several other media venues. 

His current projects relate to big data, AI, health information technologies, mobile health, reproduction/reproductive technology, research ethics, organ transplantation, rationing in law and medicine, NFL players, and medical tourism. He was selected as a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute and the Hastings Center. 

For his law school teaching Prof. Cohen was awarded the HLS Student Government Teaching and Advising Award in 2017. He also sometimes teaches courses at Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. For the public he created the free online Harvard X class Bioethics: The Law, Medicine, and Ethics of Reproductive Technologies and Genetics, which was nominated by Harvard for the Japan Prize. More than 25,000 students have taken the course in its first two runs alone. You can also watch his TEDx talk, Are There Non-Human Persons? Are There Non-Person Humans? 

Prof. Cohen is one of three editors-in-chief of the Journal of Law and the Biosciences. He has served on the Steering Committee for Ethics for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Ethics Committee for the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). 

Committee Member Q & A

We asked each Committee Member four questions to gain insight into who they are and what they value in bioethics scholarship and the Faculty Scholars Program.

1. What professional activity or accomplishment are you most proud of?

I am the child of two very intelligent parents who because of family circumstances never finished high school. So for me just being a professor feels huge! But other than Greenwall I was very proud to be named a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute and the Hastings Center.

2. In your work, how have you engaged with people who face bioethics dilemmas in their professional activities or personal lives?

Absolutely. Whether its governments struggling with how to protect workers during pandemics, NFL players who want policy changes to protect their health, advocates and activists trying to get FDA to changes its policy on the gay blood ban, or companies trying to figure out the most ethical way to implement a new technology, I spend much of my time this way.

3. Who has been affected by your work in bioethics?

Scholars, businesspeople, patients, the general public.

4. What do you view as the greatest strength of the Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program?

It gathers together truly the very best people in the field across many generations of cohort. Whenever I face a tough problem or am thinking about writing in a new area this is the group I go to. The same is true when I am looking for coauthors.