The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics seeks to strengthen teaching and research about pressing ethical issues; to foster sound norms of ethical reasoning and civic discussion; and to share the work of our community in the public interest. 

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Upcoming Events

2018 Nov 29

Public Lecture by Cynthia Dwork

5:00pm to 6:30pm


Taubman 520 A,B & C, Harvard Kennedy School

Cynthia Dwork poster

Title: "Skewed or Rescued?: The Emerging Theory of Algorithmic Fairness"

Description: Intelligent systems, much like humans, have the ability to see and respond to the world around them. Using data in new ways to make more accurate predictions or enabling new services, these...

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Latest News

"Who's Got Personality?" an Interview with Deb Chasman and Merve Emre

October 1, 2018

Deb Chasman, 2018-19 Fellow-in-Residence and Editor-in-Chief of Boston Review, conducted a fascinating interview with Merve Emre on personality tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. In their conversation, they explore "what the test really measures and what it misses, how it has come to function as a form of divination and therapy in an age of secular alienation, and why its claims of innateness are at odds with richer understandings of personality and character."

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For the Record

‘For the Record’ is a feature where our Fellows-in-Residence and Graduate Fellows have a chance to present their research ideas informally, reflect on their experience at the Center, or report on Center events.

This month's For the Record comes from Fellow-in-Residence Ari Schick, this year’s Tel Aviv University Exchange Fellow. Ari’s work focuses on speculative bioethics and the governance of emerging technologies.

Brain Death at Fifty and the Next Fifty Years of Public Bioethics Discourse
by Ari Schick

One aspect of my research examines how bioethics discourse has developed in relation to particular technologies and technological imaginaries, and more broadly, the past and continuing role of bioethics in addressing issues of broad public concern. One such issue, brain death, was recently the subject of the annual conference organized by Harvard Medical School’s Center for Bioethics, which I had the opportunity to attend. 

The occasion for the conference’s theme was the 50th anniversary of the influential report, “A Definition of Irreversible Coma,” published in 1968 by the Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School to Examine the Definition of Brain Death. Under the leadership of Henry Beecher, the Committee was organized in response to the new phenomenon of patients being kept on mechanical ventilators without signs of neurological functioning. Read more

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