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Hastings Center News

Johnston Elected Hastings Center Fellow

Josephine Johnston, a senior research scholar at The Hastings Center, was elected a Hastings Center Fellow on December 8, 2023.

Hastings Center Fellows are a group of more than 200 individuals of outstanding accomplishment whose work has informed scholarship and public understanding of complex ethical issues in health, health care, science, and technology.

Johnston is an expert on the ethical, legal, and policy implications of advances in medicine and science for patients, clinicians, and policymakers. She focuses particularly on genetics, human reproduction, psychiatry, and neuroscience. Her research is interdisciplinary, addressing the ethics of chimeric research, the ethical implications of new kinds of prenatal genetic tests, the relationship between gene editing technologies and understandings of human flourishing, and, with colleagues at University of California, San Francisco, the potential use of genetic sequencing technology in newborns. She is a member of the Center for ELSI Resources and Analysis (CERA). 

She joined the staff of The Hastings Center as a research scholar in 2003 and was director of research from 2012 to 2022. In addition to her position at The Hastings Center, Johnston teaches medical law and ethics at the University of Otago’s Bioethics Centre in Dunedin, New Zealand. She previously worked as a bioethics researcher at Dalhousie University and the University of Minnesota and as a lawyer in both New Zealand and Germany. 

Johnston received her Masters of Bioethics and Health Law with Distinction (MBHL), her Bachelor of Laws with Honors (LLB), and her BA in theatre studies from the University of Otago.

Learn more about Josephine Johnston.