Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Ethics, Emory University
Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D. is the Raymond F. Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics, a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Biological Behavior, and Sociology, and the Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University. 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, and faculty in its Center for Bioethics.
Dr.Wolpe spent 15 years as Senior Bioethicist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where he still serves as a bioethical consultant. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience, and sits on the editorial boards of over a dozen professional journals in medicine and ethics. He is a past President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities; the current President of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors; 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 served as the first National Bioethics Advisor to Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Dr. Wolpe publishes in the fields of 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 medicine and 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. 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 also writes and talks about the Jewish contribution to thinking about the ethical aspects of medicine and technology. 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. He has testified twice to the President’s Commission on the Study of Bioethical Issues in Washington, DC. 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 contributor to broadcast and print media, and has been featured on 60 Minutes and with a personal profile in the Science Times of the New York Times.