The Edmond & Lily 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

2022 Oct 20

Race and Domination: An Introduction to Black Republicanism with Melvin Rogers

5:00pm to 6:15pm


CGIS South, Belfer Case Study Room (S020) & On Zoom

The lecture explores the early tradition of Black republicanism from the 1830s to the 1850s. Rogers argues that African American activists and intellectuals made a sustained contribution to the political-philosophical tradition of republicanism that is worth reconsidering. In their writings we find them reimagining civic virtue, community, and the place of culture in securing freedom for African Americans that differ significantly from those traditionally recognized as belonging to this tradition. 

Professor Rogers has wide-ranging interests in contemporary...

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Latest News

Zeynep Pamuk Wins APSA Book Award

September 27, 2022
Former Graduate Fellow Zeynep Pamuk wins the American Political Science Association First Book Award for her book Politics and Expertise: How to Use Science in a Democratic Society (Princeton, 2021). The First Book Award is given for a first book by a scholar in the early stages of his or her career in the area of political theory or political philosophy.... Read more about Zeynep Pamuk Wins APSA Book Award

Embedded EthiCS Postdoctoral Fellowship in Philosophy 2023-2024

September 23, 2022

The Harvard Program for Embedded EthiCS invites applications for several postdoctoral fellowships based in the Philosophy Department beginning July 1, 2023, pending funding and program needs. The fellowships will be two years with the second year contingent on a satisfactory review during the first year. The postdoctoral fellows will be expected to spend 50% of their time working with the Embedded EthiCS program and 50% of their time on their own independent research. Learn more and apply for the...

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Community Profiles

Our “Community Profiles” interview series highlights the longstanding members of our community at the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics.

An Interview with Danielle Allen, Director of the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics and James Bryant Conant University Professor

By: Alexis Jimenez Maldonado 


Danielle Allen is James Bryant Conant University Professor and Director of the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics. She is a professor of political philosophy, ethics, and public policy. She is also a seasoned nonprofit leader, democracy advocate, national voice on pandemic response, distinguished author, and mom. 

Alexis Jimenez Maldonado: You’ve been the director of the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics since 2015. Can you talk about how you came to be in that role and what drew you towards the Center? 

Danielle Allen: Oh, my gosh! That’s a big question. But I guess this does look like an unusual job. It makes sense that people want to know how a person gets into it. 

The seeds were planted long ago when I was an undergraduate [at Princeton]. In the spring of my sophomore year, I took a class on ancient Athenian democracy with one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. We were reading tons of legal documents—prosecutions and defenses. And something was really bugging me about the material, but I couldn’t figure out what. It wasn’t until the New Jersey winter was receding, classroom windows were open, and spring breezes warming the classroom that I finally put my finger on it. I put up my hand. My professor called on me. I said, “Professor, did the Athenians not have prisons? We are reading all these speeches of prosecution and defense, and no one mentions prisons. Did they just not have them?” My brilliant teacher in a superb stroke of mentoring responded, “That would be a great dissertation question!” Then and there my academic career was born....

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