This week, Faculty Scholars Program Alum Jennifer Blumenthal-Barby, PhD, launched the Philosophical Bioethics Hub, a free and publicly available collection of educational resources and networking opportunities relating to philosophy and bioethics.
Funded by a Foundation grant and developed by a team led by Prof. Blumenthal-Barby, the Hub aims to, in her words, “increase the footprint of the philosophical aspects of bioethics,” bringing resources to scholars and others working not only in bioethics but adjacent fields such as medicine and law. The effort is a reimagination and expansion of the Philosophical Bioethics Seminar Series that has been a part of Greenwall’s Faculty Scholars Program since 2015. By making these resources more widely accessible, the Hub furthers the Foundation’s strategic priority of shaping and supporting a broad, inclusive bioethics.
Twenty-five seminars on issues in bioethics—from equipoise to privacy to abortion, and more—comprise one of the Hub’s core assets. These seminars are organized into four topic areas, and contain introductions to each issue alongside further reading, reflection points, and other relevant resources. Foundational philosophical content, such as argument construction and the basics of ethical theories, is available, broadening access to the ideas in the Hub to those new to philosophical inquiry. Also organized into collections are: papers written by founding and participating partners of the Hub, video lectures, and related events. In addition, there are resources for writing bioethics grants and papers with normative (non-empirical) aims.
Philosophy’s evolving relationship to the field of bioethics is both a motivating force behind—and topic area explored by—the Hub. In 2021, Prof. Blumenthal-Barby and coauthors published The Place of Philosophy in Bioethics Today, which argues against the idea that “the majority of the work in bioethics today involves the simple application of existing philosophical principles” by articulating several ways in which philosophical inquiry remains critical to bioethics thinking. The Hub, by gathering and disseminating philosophical resources, is part of the effort to situate philosophy as essential to bioethics. Prof. Blumenthal-Barby discussed this dynamic more in our video, “Bioethics & Philosophy,” which you can watch below.