LCSR Seminar: Debra Mathews “Ethics and Governance of Emerging Technologies”

March 15, 2023 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Hackerman B17
Christy Brooks

Link for Live Seminar

Link for Recorded seminars – 2022/2023 school year


Abstract: From genetic engineering to direct to consumer neurotechnology to ChatGPT, it is a standard refrain that science outpaces the development of ethical norms and governance. Further, technologies increasingly cross boundaries from medicine to the consumer market to law enforcement and beyond, in ways that our existing governance structures are not equipped to address. Finally, our standard governance approaches to addressing ethical issues related to new technologies fail to address population and societal-level impacts. This talk will demonstrate the above through a series of examples and describe ongoing work by the US National Academies and others to address these challenges.


Bio: Debra JH Mathews, PhD, MA, is the Associate Director for Research and Programs for the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Within the JHU Institute for Assured Autonomy, Dr. Mathews serves as the Ethics & Governance Lead. Her academic work focuses on ethics and policy issues raised by emerging technologies, with particular focus on genetics, stem cell science, neuroscience, synthetic biology, and artificial intelligence. Dr. Mathews helped found and lead The Hinxton Group, an international collective of scientists, ethicists, policymakers and others, interested in ethical and well-regulated science, and whose work focuses primarily on stem cell research. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of the International Neuroethics Society since 2015, and is currently President-Elect. In addition to her academic work, Dr. Mathews has spent time at the Genetics and Public Policy Center, the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, and the National Academy of Medicine working in various capacities on science policy.

Dr. Mathews earned her PhD in genetics from Case Western Reserve University, as well as a concurrent Master’s in bioethics. She completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in genetics at Johns Hopkins, and the Greenwall Fellowship in Bioethics and Health Policy at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities.