Jonathan D. Moreno, PhD

PHILADELPHIA—Describing him as “one of the world’s foremost experts in bioethics and politics and bioethics in national security,” the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities has awarded Penn Medicine bioethicist Jonathan D. Moreno, PhD its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is the Society's highest honor. It recognizes a “distinguished individual” for excellence in bioethics and is given in recognition of “longstanding achievement in the field.”

Jonathan D. Moreno is the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania where he is a Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) professor. He is also Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, of History and Sociology of Science, and of Philosophy at Penn. With appointments in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine and School of Arts & Sciences, Moreno writes and teaches on topics related to bioethics, culture, science, and national security. The American Journal of Bioethics has called him “the quietly most interesting bioethicist of our time.”

In announcing the award, the Society said that Moreno is being honored for his “innumerable scholarly writings, service to national and international commissions and contributions to public discourse on bioethics.” It adds that “His career in integrating bioethics with the history of ideas, technology and public affairs has led to his recognition as one of the key translators and interpreters of ethical issues in science for policymakers and one of the leading public intellectuals in the field of bioethics.”

The author of six influential books on the history, sociology, and politics of biology and medicine, Moreno’s next book, Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven but Nobody Wants to Die: Bioethics and the Transformation of American Healthcare, co-authored by Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, will be published by Liveright/Norton in 2019.

In 2008-09 Moreno served as a member of President Barack Obama’s transition team.  His work has been cited by Al Gore and was used in the development of the screenplay for “The Bourne Legacy.” 

Moreno is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and is the U.S. member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee.  He has served as an adviser to many governmental and non-governmental organizations, including three presidential commissions, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Moreno received his PhD in philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis, was an Andrew W. Mellon post-doctoral fellow, holds an honorary doctorate from Hofstra University, and is a recipient of the College of William and Mary Law School Benjamin Rush Medal, the Dr. Jean Mayer Award for Global Citizenship from Tufts University, and the Penn Alumni Faculty Award of Merit.  He holds the honorary Visiting Professorship in History at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. In 2018 the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented on October 19th at the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities’ annual conference in Anaheim, following which Moreno will deliver an invited lecture.



Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, excellence in patient care, and community service. The organization consists of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Penn’s Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine, founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school.

The Perelman School of Medicine is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $550 million awarded in the 2022 fiscal year. Home to a proud history of “firsts” in medicine, Penn Medicine teams have pioneered discoveries and innovations that have shaped modern medicine, including recent breakthroughs such as CAR T cell therapy for cancer and the mRNA technology used in COVID-19 vaccines.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities stretch from the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania to the New Jersey shore. These include the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Chester County Hospital, Lancaster General Health, Penn Medicine Princeton Health, and Pennsylvania Hospital—the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is an $11.1 billion enterprise powered by more than 49,000 talented faculty and staff.

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