Gregory E. Kaebnick

Gregory E. Kaebnick


Director, Editorial Department; Editor, Hastings Center Report; Senior Research Scholar

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Gregory E. Kaebnick explores questions about the values at stake in developing and using biotechnologies and, particularly, in questions about the value given to nature and human nature. He is also the director of the Editorial Department and the editor of the Hastings Center Report. He has testified before Congress on ethical issues concerning the use of new genetic technologies and served on a National Research Council and National Academy of Sciences committee, Gene Drive Research in Non-Human Organisms: Recommendations for Responsible Conduct.

Dr. Kaebnick is currently the principal investigator of a project on the role of values in impact assessment of emerging technologies and a coinvestigator of a project on the potential social and ethical implications of using gene editing technologies on human germline cells. Previously, he led two projects that examined ethical concerns about synthetic biology (here and here): The Ideal of Nature: Appeals to Nature in Debates about Biotechnology and the Environment, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Genetic Ties and the Future of the Family, funded by the National Institutes of Health, which explored the ramifications of genetic paternity testing for the parent-child relationship.

He received his B.A. in religion from Swarthmore College and his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Minnesota.


Gregory E. Kaebnick, ed., Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Bioethical Issues (McGraw-Hill, 2015).

Gregory E. Kaebnick, Humans in Nature: The World as We Find It and the World as We Create It (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Gregory E. Kaebnick and Thomas H. Murray, eds., Synthetic Biology and Morality: Artificial Life and the Bounds of Nature (MIT Press, 2013).

Gregory E. Kaebnick, ed., Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Bioethical Issues (McGraw-Hill, 2013).

Gregory E. Kaebnick, ed., The Ideal of Nature (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011).

Lori P. Knowles and Gregory E. Kaebnick, eds., Reprogenetics: Law, Policy, and Ethical Issues, (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007).

In the Media

BuzzFeed, on the potential use of genetic engineering to home-brew opioids

Washington Post on the ethics of the president pardoning a turkey before Thanksgiving

Selected Scholarly Publications

Gregory E. Kaebnick, Michael K. Gusmano, and Thomas H. Murray, “Ethical Questions of Synthetic Biology: Next Steps and Prior Questions,” Hastings Center Report 44, no. 55 (2014): s4-26.

Gregory E. Kaebnick, “Of Microbes and Men,” Hastings Center Report 41, no. 4 (2011): 25.

“Should Moral Objections to Synthetic Biology Affect Public Policy?” Nature Biotechnology 27,

no. 12 (2009): 1106.

Selected Commentaries

“Should We Leave Our Wilderness to Its Fate?,” New York Times, July 11, 2014.

“Is the ‘Synthetic Cell’ about Life?,” The Scientist, July 2010.

Posts by Gregory E. Kaebnick
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