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Yashar Saghai

Research Scholar & Associate Faculty

 Yashar Saghai, MA, PhD, is currently a research scholar and associate faculty at the Berman Institute of Bioethics, Johns Hopkins University.

His research in practical ethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of science focuses on:

  • futures studies (prediction, forecast, exploration, and anticipation of possible futures through scenario planning, predictive modeling, trend extrapolation, counterfactual history, and other techniques)
  • food systems
  • health (public health; health research)
  • behavioral economics, cognitive psychology, and their policy implications

Dr. Saghai was the Principle Investigator on the “Ethics, Politics, Knowledge and Our Planet’s Food Futures” Project (May 2016-April 2017) and the Director of the Global Food Ethics Project (2013-2015).

He was trained in philosophy and bioethics at Georgetown and in his native Paris.


Selected Publications
Saghai, Y. Forthcoming. “Theorizing justice in health research contexts.” In Beyond Consent: Seeking Justice in Research, edited by J. Kahn, A. Mastroianni, and J. Sugarman. Second edition, Oxford University Press: New York, NY.

Lipton, Michael, and Y. Saghai. 2016. “Farmland-access ethics, land reform, and food ethics.” Global Food Security. Published Online First (May 4, 2016).

Aloosh, M, and Y. Saghai. 2016. “Birth control policies in Iran: A public health and ethics perspective.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 70: 529–533. doi:10.1136/jech-2015-205572.

Global Food Ethics Project. May 2015. 7 by 5 Agenda for Ethics and Global Food Security: 7 Projects to Make Progress on Ethics and Global Food Security in 5 Years. Project Report. Johns Hopkins University: Baltimore, MD.

Whicher, D., N. Kass, Y. Saghai, R. Faden, S. Tunis, and P. Pronovost. 2015.
The views of quality improvement professionals and comparative effectiveness researchers on ethics, IRBs, and oversight.” Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics. Online February 23, 2015. DOI:10.1177/1556264615571558.

Saghai, Y. 2014. “Radically questioning the principle of the least restrictive alternative:
A reply to Nir Eyal.” International Journal of Health Policy and Management 3(6): 349-350. Doi: 10.15171/ijhpm.2014.106.

Saghai, Y. 2013. “The concept of nudge and its moral significance: A reply to Ashcroft, Bovens, Dworkin, Welch, and Wertheimer.” Journal of Medical Ethics 39(8): 499-501. Doi:10.1136/medethics-2012-101112.

Saghai, Y. 2013. “Salvaging the concept of nudge.” Journal of Medical Ethics 39(8):  487-493. Doi:10.1136/medethics-2012-100727.

Powers, M., R. Faden, and Y. Saghai. 2012. “Liberty, Mill, and the framework of public health ethics.” Public Health Ethics 5 (1): 6-15. DOI:10.1093/phe/phs002.

Beauchamp, T., and Y. Saghai. 2012. “The historical foundations of the research-practice  distinction in bioethics.” Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 33 (1): 45–56. DOI 10.1007/s11017-011-9207-8.