Emory Report
February 4, 2008
Volume 60, Number 18

Center’s new home
The John and Susan Wieland Center for Ethics will soon share with Candler School of Theology a new home. The 70,000-square-foot structure near the Quad will triple its current space.

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February 4, 2008
Center for Ethics leader hopes to ‘deepen its place’ in Emory’s heart

By beverly clark

Renowned ethicist and University of Pennsylvania professor Paul Root Wolpe has been appointed director of Emory’s Center for Ethics.

A professor of sociology in Penn’s Department of Psychiatry, Wolpe succeeds former director James Fowler, Candler Professor of Theology and Human Development, who retired from Emory in 2005. Associate director Kathy Kinlaw, who also directs the center’s work in health sciences and ethics, will continue to serve as interim director until Wolpe begins his position Aug.1.

“The University is thrilled to have lured a scholar and administrator of Paul Root Wolpe’s caliber to lead the next phase in the history of the Center for Ethics at Emory,” said Provost Earl Lewis. “Wolpe is an internationally recognized scholar, a bridge builder, and one committed to charting new possibilities for the role of ethics on campus and in the broader community.”

Wolpe currently holds secondary appointments in Penn’s Department of Sociology and Department of Medical Ethics. Wolpe is immediate past president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, and is co-editor of the American Journal of Bioethics. He also serves as the first chief of bioethics for NASA.

“I look forward to collaborating with faculty and staff from around the University to promote ethics scholarship in business, medicine, law and across the sciences and humanities. As a university dedicated to ethical engagement and leadership, I hope to help the center deepen its place in the heart of Emory,” said Wolpe.

A founder of the field of neuroethics, which examines the ethical implications of neuroscience, Wolpe has written several articles and book chapters about this and other topics. He is also the first national bioethics advisor for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, helping that organization plan for the changing social dynamics and emerging reproductive technologies that will influence women’s reproduction over the coming decades. He is one of the few non-physicians to be elected a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the country’s oldest medical society.

Wolpe did his undergraduate work in the sociology and psychology of religion at Penn, and went on to receive his Ph.D. in medical sociology from Yale University.