Science & Bioethics

Biomedical discovery is at the heart of human progress. Where advances are made, serious ethical questions are raised about the morality, safety, and consequences of emerging science. The Berman Institute is at the forefront of national and global academic and public policy debates surrounding these questions.


Berman Institute faculty provide lectures and courses in science and ethics generally, the role of the scientist, and in stem cell science ethics and neuroethics more specifically. Teaching is provided to PhD students in genomic sciences to students across multiple Johns Hopkins campuses with a MOOC type course also being developed.


The Berman Institute collaborates with Johns Hopkins and other scientists globally to address growing ethical challenges raised by fields such as stem cell science, brain science/neuroscience and genomics. The Berman Institute has been instrumental in convening and helping to draft positions of the Hinxton Group, an international consortium on stem cells, ethics and law that, since 2006, has published highly visible statements on stem cell science and ethics and, in 2015, on ethics and CRISPR (genome editing) technology. The Berman Institute has longstanding depth in genetics and ethics with multiple projects on varied issues posed by new genetic technologies.


Berman Institute faculty have led committees at Johns Hopkins, for the State of Maryland, and for the International Society for Stem Cell Research on ethics and stem cell science; have chaired and served on committees for the National Academy of Medicine on ethics and techniques for preventing maternal transmission of mitochondrial DNA diseases, and gene editing and served on other national committees related to ethics and genetic science; the Berman Institute publishes highly subscribed email newsletters providing weekly news roundups on a variety of topics including: ethics and brain science, and ethics and stem cell science. providing key resources for these fields.

Quick Links