Campus & Community

Safra Foundation welcomes faculty fellows, scholars

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The Harvard University Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics recently welcomed its faculty fellows and senior scholars for 2006-07. The faculty 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. Under the direction of Dennis F. Thompson, 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 faculty fellows seminar are two senior scholars: Philip Pettit, the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Political and Human Values at Princeton University, and Archon Fung, associate professor of public policy, Kennedy School of Government.

The faculty fellows are as follows:

Rebecca Brendel is a psychiatrist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Law and Psychiatry Service and Consultation Psychiatry Service, and an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Her research and teaching include end-of-life and confidentiality issues in medicine, psychiatry, and health care, as well as human rights, and her work appears in psychiatric journals and textbooks. During the fellowship, she will focus on ethical conflicts at the intersections of medicine, psychiatry, and law.

The Safra Center is now accepting applications for its Faculty Fellowships in Ethics (residential) for the 2007-08 academic year. Teachers and scholars who wish to develop their ability to address questions of moral choice in architecture, business, education, government, law, medicine, public health, and public policy, among other topics, are welcome to apply. Applicants should hold a Ph.D. in philosophy, political theory, theology, or a related discipline, or an advanced professional degree, and should be no more than 10 years from their first academic appointment. The application deadline is Nov. 1.

Corey Brettschneider is an assistant professor of political science and public policy at Brown University. He teaches political theory and public law, and has published on capital punishment and the role of rights in Marxian thought. Brettschneider’s recent work is for a book project titled “Democratic Rights.” He will develop two projects: one on federalism in constitutional law, and a second on why political liberalism should incorporate the concerns of feminist theory.

Sarah Conly teaches philosophy at Bowdoin College. She has an ongoing interest in consequentialism, and recently has attempted to use consequentialist methods of problem solving in publications such as Ethics and American Philosophical Quarterly. At Harvard, Conly will think about the problem of moral decision making, and will devise and defend consequentialist strategies for successful moral education.

Jedediah Purdy is an assistant professor of law at Duke Law School. His research focuses on the intersection of property law and political theory, particularly how economic arrangements promote or inhibit human freedom. His publications have appeared in the University of Chicago Law Review, California Law Review, New York Times, American Prospect, Atlantic Monthly, and Germany’s Die Zeit. Recent books include “Being America: Liberty, Commerce, and Violence in an American World” (Knopf, 2003).

Sanjay G. Reddy is an assistant professor of economics at Barnard College, Columbia University, where he also teaches at the university’s School of International and Public Affairs. His research includes development economics, international economics, and economics and philosophy. Reddy has published widely, and is on the editorial advisory boards of Development, Ethics and International Affairs, and the European Journal of Development Research. Among other topics, he will look at the relation between ethical premises and empirical description in economics, and the role of apparent constraints in normative reasoning.

David Wendler is a faculty member in the department of clinical bioethics at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md. His research, published mostly in medical journals, focuses on the ethics of conducting research with individuals who cannot give informed consent. His publications have appeared in, among others, JAMA and The Lancet. During the fellowship he will develop an account of why it can be ethically acceptable to expose children to risks for the benefit of others in the context of clinical research.

The Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics is an interfaculty initiative under the President and Provost’s Office. The fellows are selected by a University committee with representatives from several of the Harvard professional Schools and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences: Martha Minow (Harvard Law School), Tim Scanlon (philosophy), Robert Truog (Harvard Medical School), Michael Sandel (government), Joseph Badaracco (Harvard Business School), and Thompson, director, University Center for Ethics and the Professions and committee chair.