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Excellence in Bioethics

September 28, 2022

Prof. Anita L. Allen is a recipient of The Hastings Center’s 2022 Bioethics Founders’ Award.

Anita L. Allen, Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy, is a recipient of The Hastings Center’s 2022 Bioethics Founders’ Award.

The award recognizes individuals from around the world who have made substantial, sustained contributions to bioethics in ways that have advanced thinking and practice in medicine, the life sciences, and public policy.

Allen was recognized for outstanding contributions to law and philosophy and to their practical applications in medicine, science, and public affairs.

“The Hastings Center has been in the forefront of ethically hard thinking about health care and health research, a venerable American institution,” said Allen. “Receiving the Founder’s Award for my work on health privacy, mental health morals, and genetics is something of which I am extremely proud and grateful. I hope I can to continue to earn this high recognition through service to the field.”

A graduate of Harvard Law with a PhD in philosophy from the University of Michigan, Allen is internationally renowned as an expert on philosophical dimensions of privacy and data protection law, ethics, bioethics, legal philosophy, women’s rights, and diversity in higher education. She has been named among the world’s top 20 philosophers by Academic Influence.

Allen was president of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association (APA) from 2018 to 2019, the first African American woman in history to be so named. In 2021, she was awarded APA’s highest honor, the Philip L. Quinn Prize; she also received the 2022 Berkeley Center for Law & Technology Privacy Award.

Allen is an elected member of the American Law Institute, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Medicine and is a former member of the National Academies’ Forum on Cyber Resilience. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of The Hastings Center.

She served under President Barack Obama as a member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. For two years she was on the institutional review board of the National Institutes of Health’s Precision Medicine Initiative and the National Advisory Council on Human Genome Research. She was chair of the board of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in Washington, D.C., from 2020 to 2022; in 2014 she received a lifetime achievement award from EPIC for her pioneering privacy scholarship and advocacy, and for the same accomplishment she was awarded honorary doctorates from Tilburg University in the Netherlands and the College of Wooster in the United States. She has been recognized by the Alaine Locke Society and the Collegium of Black Women Philosophers.

Allen is co-author of Privacy Law and Society (2016), a comprehensive textbook in the field. Her other books about data protection, values, and contemporary life include Unpopular Privacy: What Must We Hide (2011); The New Ethics: A Guided Tour of the 21st Century Moral Landscape (2004), Why Privacy Isn’t Everything (2003), and Uneasy Access: Privacy for Women in a Free Society (1988).

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