Nita Farahany

President (2019-2021)
Board Member (2012-2022)

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Nita A. Farahany is a leading scholar on the ethical, legal, and social implications of biosciences and emerging technologies, particularly those related to neuroscience and behavioral genetics. She is a Professor of Law & Philosophy, the Founding Director of Duke Science & Society, and Chair of the Duke MA in Bioethics & Science Policy. In 2010, Farahany was appointed by President Obama to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, and served until 2017. She serves as a member of the Neuroethics Division of the Multi-Council Working Group for the BRAIN Initiative, and on the President’s Research Council of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). She also serves on Global Agenda Councils and is part of the Expert Network for the World Economic Forum.

Farahany is a widely published scholar on the ethical, legal, and social implications of the biosciences and emerging technologies, and a frequent commentator for national media and radio shows. She presents her work to diverse audiences including Judicial Conferences for the US Court of Appeals, the National Judicial College, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Academies of Science Workshops, the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy, Aspen Ideas Festival, the World Economic Forum, and by testifying before the US Congress.

She is an elected member of the American Law Institute, on the Board of the International Neuroethics Society, served as a member of the Law and Ethics Advisory Panel (“LEAP”) as part of the Football Players Health Study at Harvard University, a co-editor a co-editor-in-chief and co- founder of the Journal of Law and the Biosciences, and an editorial board member of the American Journal of Bioethics (Neuroscience). She is also the past Chair of the Criminal Justice Section of the American Association of Law Schools.

Farahany received her AB in genetics, cell, and developmental biology at Dartmouth College, a JD and MA from Duke University, as well as a PhD in philosophy. She also holds an ALM in biology from Harvard University. In 2004-2005, Farahany clerked for Judge Judith W. Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, after which she joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University. In 2011, Farahany was the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor of Human Rights at Stanford Law School.