(Philadelphia, PA) - Paul Root Wolpe,
PhD, Senior Fellow at the Center for Bioethics and a professor
in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania
School of Medicine, has been elected the President of the
American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH). The ASBH is
the national professional organization for scholars in bioethics
and the medical humanities.
ASBH has over 1,600 members, including physicians, nurses, social
scientists, legal scholars, historians, philosophers, and others
who study the ethical, social, legal, and historical issues in medical
ethics and the medical humanities.
Wolpe will serve as President-elect for a year, and will officially
assume the role of President in October, 2006.
“As it reflects the judgment of one's peers through election,
it is an honor that I do not take lightly, and plan to work hard
to advance the interests of the field academically and professionally,”
He stressed three themes for his tenure. First, the ASBH is a society
of diverse opinions and approaches and it should encourage those
with minority or contrary opinions. Second, new members from diverse
fields should be recruited to help ensure that ASBH remains a vital
organization. Third, ASBH needs to support and mentor young members
of the profession.
Wolpe also holds appointments in the Department of Medical Ethics
and the Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Additionally, he serves as the first Chief of Bioethics for the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The office
is responsible for safeguarding the protection of research subjects
and astronauts both within NASA and among our international space
Wolpe did his undergraduate work in the sociology and psychology
of religion at the University of Pennsylvania, and received his
PhD in Medical Sociology from Yale University. He is the author
of numerous articles and book chapters. His research examines the
role of ideology and culture in medical thought, encompassing such
diverse fields as genetics and reproduction; neuroethics and the
integration of biotechnology into the human body; mental health
and illness; human subjects’ research; religion and its role
in bioethical debate, and death and dying. Wolpe is the author of
the textbook, Sexuality and Gender in Society and the end-of-life
guide, In the Winter of Life. He has been chosen by The
Teaching Company as a "Superstar Teacher of America" and
his courses are nationally distributed on audio and videotape.
“Paul brings an extraordinary array of talents and accomplishments
to this position,” noted Arthur Caplan, PhD,
Director of the Center for Bioethics at Penn, of Wolpe’s selection.
“The enthusiasm, dedication, and rigor with which he carries
out all aspects of his work will help ensure that his presidency
is an innovative and effective one.”
PENN Medicine is a $2.7 billion enterprise
dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical
research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists
of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in
1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of
Pennsylvania Health System.
Penn’s School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation
for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #4 in the nation in
U.S. News & World Report’s most recent ranking of top
research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty
and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide
for its superior education and training of the next generation of
physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes: its
flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania,
consistently rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll”
hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital,
the nation's first hospital; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; a
faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty
satellite facilities; and home health care and hospice.