Campus & Community

Safra Foundation Center for Ethics selects six faculty fellows

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The Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University will welcome six Faculty Fellows in Ethics for the 2005-06 academic year. The fellows, who study ethical problems in business, government, law, medicine, and public policy, were selected from a pool of applicants from universities and professional institutions throughout the United States and several other countries.

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Under the direction of Dennis Thompson, the Alfred North Whitehead Professor of Political Philosophy, the fellows will conduct research on issues related to ethics within their respective fields, and will participate in seminars on ethical issues that arise in public and professional life. Joining the fellows’ seminar is Visiting Professor in Ethics Jeffrey Abramson, the Louis Stulberg Distinguished Professor of Law and Politics at Brandeis University.

The Edmond J. Safra Graduate Fellows in Ethics will also be in residence at the center. They are Harvard graduate and professional students who are studying ethics-related topics. Arthur Applbaum, professor of ethics and public policy at the Kennedy School of Government, will chair the graduate fellows seminar.

The faculty fellows are as follows:

Elizabeth J. Ashford is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of St. Andrews. Her research focuses on moral and political philosophy. Her publications include “The Demandingness of Scanlon’s Contractualism” (Ethics, 2003) and “The Duties Imposed by the Human Right to Basic Necessities” (UNESCO Vol. VII, “Freedom From Poverty as a Human Right,” ed. Thomas Pogge [forthcoming]). During her fellowship she will develop a book on utilitarian and Kantian conceptions of impartiality and of rights.

Thomas Cochrane is an instructor in neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and a member of the hospital’s ethics committee and consultation service. He researches ethical issues relating to states of consciousness such as brain death, coma, the vegetative state, and the minimally conscious state. During the fellowship year, he will publish a series of papers focusing on specific aspects of these states.

Anna Elisabetta Galeotti, a visiting research scholar, holds the chair in political philosophy at the University of Piemonte Orientale in Vercelli, Italy. Her research interests include the philosophy of social science, individualism and holism; normative political philosophy, toleration, and multiculturalism; and political psychology, self-deception, and truthfulness. Her articles have appeared in journals such as Political Theory, Respublica, Ratio Juris, and CRISSP. She is the author of “Toleration as Recognition” (Cambridge University Press, 2002).

Renee M. Jones is an assistant professor at Boston College Law School. Before entering academia, she practiced corporate law at Hill & Barlow in Boston. Her scholarship focuses on corporate governance, especially the federal-state relationship in corporate regulation. Recent publications include “Rethinking Corporate Federalism in the Era of Corporate Reform” (Journal of Corporation Law). Jones will write on the relationship between corporate law and the social norms that guide the behavior of the American business elite.

Maria Merritt is an assistant professor of philosophy at the College of William and Mary. Her interests are in virtue theory, moral psychology, medical ethics, and the ethics of research with human subjects. A recent publication is “Moral Conflict in Clinical Trials” (Ethics, 2005). She will write on the relationship of scientific psychology to ethical character, focusing on interpersonal aspects of the psychological processes. She will extend this research to problems in medical education that involve the shaping of ethical character.

Daniel Philpott is an associate professor of political science and a faculty fellow of the Joan B. Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He studies the role of religion in global politics, particularly its effects on democratization, transitional justice, and peace settlements. He will write on the ethics of political reconciliation, rooted in theology and political philosophy and yielding guidelines for societies facing past injustices. His first book is “Revolutions in Sovereignty: How Ideas Shaped Modern International Relations.”

The fellows are selected by a University committee representing several of the Harvard professional schools and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences including Arthur Applbaum (Kennedy School of Government), Joseph Badaracco (Harvard Business School), Martha Minow (Harvard Law School), Thomas Scanlon (philosophy), Michael Sandel (government), Robert Truog (Harvard Medical School), and Dennis Thompson (director, Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics and committee chair).

The fellows join a growing community of teachers and scholars dedicated to the study of ethics. In addition to the fellowships for faculty and graduate students, the center sponsors a public lecture series on applied and professional ethics, and co-sponsors, with the President’s Office, the University-wide Tanner Lectures on Human Values.