Arthur Caplan, PhD, director of the Center for Bioethics, was named to Discover Magazine’s “Smartest People on the Planet” list, which includes picks “from genius kids and rising stars to unsung heroes and self-styled outsiders.” IEET’s Executive Director was honored to have the opportunity to heartily endorse the choice of Dr. Caplan.
Caplan was named among the list’s ten “Influentials,” alongside Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, former NIH Director Harold Varmus and U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski. (Full article available as PDF)
ARTHUR CAPLAN BIOETHICIST UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA NAVIGATING THE MINEFIELD OF BIOETHICS
Remember when in vitro fertilization, which has produced millions of babies, was controversial? Today’s medical breakthroughs, from genetically engineering animals to rewiring the human brain, pose moral and social dilemmas every bit as divisive, providing grist for Arthur Caplan as he weighs in on the future of science.
Caplan has sorted through the ethical traps of science for the United Nations, the National Institutes of Health, the president of the United States, and the Olympics and has written or edited more than 30 books and 500 articles on ethics in biomedicine. He has guided us through such issues as the organ donor market (he opposed the sale of kidneys to the highest bidder), the Terri Schiavo case (he opposed government intervention to keep her alive), and the stem cell wars (he supports embryonic stem cell research). Although he sometimes loses battles against politicians, he often succeeds in swaying public opinion, which in the end may be his proudest achievement.
Caplan has played a singular role in “democratizing bioethics,” says James Hughes, executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. “His tireless work translating philosophical debates into understandable ideas, along with his being accessible to the media, has helped millions of people around the world develop more informed opinions about health care and biotechnology. As a champion of accountable government regulation, universal health care, and individual liberty, he has applied the values of the Enlightenment to the 21st century.”