Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D. is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics, the Raymond F. Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics, a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Sociology, and the Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University. Dr. Wolpe also serves as the first Senior Bioethicist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where he is responsible for formulating policy on bioethical issues and safeguarding research subjects. He is Co-Editor of the American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB), the premier scholarly journal in bioethics, and Editor of AJOB Neuroscience, and sits on the editorial boards of over a dozen professional journals in medicine and ethics. Dr Wolpe is a past President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities; a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the country’s oldest medical society; a Fellow of the Hastings Center, the oldest bioethics institute in America; and was the first National Bioethics Advisor to Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Dr. Wolpe moved to Emory University in the summer of 2008 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was on the faculty for over 20 years in the Departments of Psychiatry, Sociology, and Medical Ethics. He was a Senior Fellow of Penn’s Center for Bioethics, and directed the Scattergood Program for the Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health and the Program in Psychiatry and Ethics at the School of Medicine.
Dr. Wolpe is the author of over 125 articles, editorials, and book chapters in sociology, medicine, and bioethics, and has contributed to a variety of encyclopedias on bioethical issues. A futurist interested in social dynamics, Dr. Wolpe’s work focuses on the social, religious, ethical, and ideological impact of technology on the human condition. Considered one of the founders of the field of neuroethics, which examines the ethical implications of neuroscience, he also writes about other emerging technologies, such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, prosthetics, and new reproductive technologies. His teaching and publications range across multiple fields of bioethics and sociology, including death and dying, genetics and eugenics, sexuality and gender, mental health and illness, alternative medicine, and bioethics in extreme environments such as space. He is the co-author of the textbook Sexuality and Gender in Society, and editor and a key author of the end-of-life guide Behoref Hayamim: In the Winter of Life.
Dr. Wolpe sits on a number of national and international non-profit organizational boards and working groups, and is a consultant to academic institutions and the biomedical industry. In July, 2010, he testified to the President’s Commission on the Study of Bioethical Issues in Washington, DC on ethical issues in synthetic biology. A dynamic and popular speaker internationally, Dr. Wolpe has been chosen by The Teaching Company as a "Superstar Teacher of America" and his courses are distributed internationally on audio and videotape. He has won the World Technology Network Award in Ethics, has been featured in a TED talk, and was profiled in the November, 2011 Atlantic Magazine as a “Brave Thinker of 2011.” Dr. Wolpe is a frequent contributor and commentator in both the broadcast and print media, recently featured on 60 Minutes and with a personal profile in the Science Times of the New York Times.
Areas of Expertise:
Neuroscience and ethics
Genetics and ethics
Death and dying
Reproductive and sexual ethics
Mental health and illness
Digital ethics and technology