Benjamin Hurlbut

Benjamin Hurlbut

Arizona State University

J. Benjamin Hurlbut is an assistant professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University.  He is trained in the history of the modern biomedical and life sciences and in Science and Technology Studies.  His research lies at the intersection of STS, bioethics, and political theory.  He studies the historical development of approaches to governance of emerging technologies in the United States, focusing in particular on discourse, politics, and institutions of deliberation for contending with morally and technically complex problems.

In particular, he has examined the history of the scientific, political and ethical debates around human embryo research in the United States. He examines the various settings in which ethical concerns over human embryo research have been deliberated, from public ethics bodies to state level referenda, tracing how notions of democracy, religious and moral pluralism, and public reason have been constructed in each setting.  One purpose of his research is to bring historical and qualitative social science approaches to bear on normative problems in bioethics and political theory.  

Professor Hurlbut received an A.B. in Classics from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in the History of Science from Harvard University. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Program on Science, Technology and Society at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Read his article, "Disease modelling using pluripotent stem cells: Making sense of disease from bench to bedside" in the Swiss Medical Weekly.