Anita L. Allen, the Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, has been elected to the American Philosophical Society (APS), the oldest learned society in the United States. The Society was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of “promoting useful knowledge” and elects fewer than 30 resident members annually.
“I am delighted to have been elected to the American Philosophical Society. It’s a high honor for any scholar and a rare one for an African American woman legal philosopher,” said Allen, who was elected in the Social Sciences category. “Since the organization is based here in Philadelphia, I will be able to take full advantage of its uniquely distinguished intellectual community, one that includes Vijay Kumar, Penn’s Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication.”
The current membership of the APS consists of 818 resident members and 157 international members. Only 5,783 members have been elected since 1743, and since 1900, 269 members have received the Nobel Prize. Early members included George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Marshall. In the 19th century, John James Audubon, Robert Fulton, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Maria Mitchell, and Louis Pasteur were among those elected. Hans Bethe, Willa Cather, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, John Hope Franklin, Robert Frost, George Marshall, Barbara McClintock, and Robert Merton hint at the scientific, humanistic, and public accomplishments of 20th-century members.
Allen is an internationally renowned expert on philosophical dimensions of privacy and data protection law, ethics, bioethics, legal philosophy, women’s rights, and diversity in higher education. A graduate of Harvard Law with a PhD from the University of Michigan in Philosophy, Allen served as Penn’s Vice Provost for Faculty from 2013-2020 and chaired the Provost’s Arts Advisory Council. She is also Affiliated Faculty with the Law School’s Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition (CTIC) and Penn’s Department of Africana Studies, the Warren Center for Network & Data Sciences, and the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law (CERL). She is also a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics.
Allen is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Law Institute. She has also served on President Obama’s Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues and was President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association. A prolific scholar, Allen has published over 120 articles and chapters, and her seven books include Unpopular Privacy: What Must We Hide (Oxford, 2011) and Privacy Law and Society (Thomson/West, 2017). She has given lectures all over the world and appeared on television and radio and written for major media.
In 2022, Allen was presented the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology Privacy Award as well as the 2021 Philip L. Quinn Prize from the American Philosophical Association and the Hastings Center Bioethics Founders’ Award. In 2015, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), and she has also chaired EPIC’s board. She holds honorary doctorate degrees from Tilburg University (Netherlands) and Wooster College and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Constitutional Center and the Future of Privacy Forum and is an advisor to the School of Criticism and Theory.
The Supreme Court’s two decisions denying challenges to prolonged detention of non-citizens in the United States taken together will have a devastating impact on non-citizens and their family members, while avoiding the ultimate question of whether the U.S. can continue to subject individuals subject to removal proceedings and/or orders of removal to prolonged and arbitrary detention without meaningful judicial review. In Johnson v. Arteaga-Martinez, the Court builds on its precedent in Jennings v. Rodriguez and has effectively foreclosed the ability of individuals to challenge their prolonged detention in hearings whereby the government must justify its ongoing detention, teeing the subject up for a full constitutional challenge.