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Jonathan D. Moreno
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Jonathan D. Moreno is the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania where he teaches bioethics and the history of science. He is also a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. His most recent book is Impromptu Man: J.L. Moreno and the Origins of Psychodrama, Encounter Culture, and the Social Network. His previous books include Undue Risk (2000), The Body Politic (2011) and Mind Wars (2012). He is a member of Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Sciences and a past president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. Moreno has served as senior staff for three presidential commissions and was a member of President Barack Obama's transition team.

Entries by Jonathan D. Moreno

Which GOP Candidate Will Adopt the 'Three-Parent Embryo'?

(3) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 9:18 AM

If there's room for a cultural issue in the upcoming Republican primary cycle, this might be it.

The news from England is that Parliament has approved high-tech treatments that would replace a tiny portion of a mother's DNA with genetic material from another woman (the "third parent"). The procedure would...

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Who Will Be the GOP's Conservative Culture Hero?

(0) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 5:14 PM

And they're off! Or so it seems, even before they've announced.

Maybe it's no way to run a democracy, and just maybe the founding fathers are turning in their graves, but here we are at the start of another endless presidential cycle. Just as Thanksgiving prevents Christmas from starting in...

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How the 'Psychological Drama' Taught Peter Lorre How to Act

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 9:52 AM

Even if you don't know his name, and even if you were born 30 years after he died, chances are you recognize the actor who played the creepy guy in the 1942 film Casablanca.

Peter Lorre 's life ended 50 years ago this year. A few weeks ago the British...

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The Most Influential Psychiatrist of the 20th Century Might Be Someone You've Never Heard Of

(1) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 7:39 AM

One hundred years ago, a 23-year-old University of Vienna medical student attended a lecture by Professor Sigmund Freud. It was a dream analysis. As the students filed out of the lecture hall, the famous psychoanalyst asked the young student, later known as J.L. Moreno, what kind of work he was...

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Support Our Troops in West Africa!

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2014 | 4:13 PM

Too often, American politics lacks a sense of history. Critics of the president's decision to send several thousand military personnel to West Africa to build temporary medical centers and treat Ebola patients forget that American military medicine has long been a crucial instrument of foreign policy. When U.S. national security...

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The Biopolitics of Beheading

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 9:32 AM

In his book Discipline and Punish, the historian and philosopher Michel Foucault described the way the French penal system underwent the transition from chaotic public execution and torture to a carefully managed prison regimen from which the public was largely veiled. In Foucault's telling, the transition took place relatively quickly,...

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The Piketty Panic on the Left

(32) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 2:24 PM

I'm a philosopher and historian, not an economist, and I'm far from a Nobel Laureate, but I was surprised that Paul Krugman's column about French economist Thomas Piketty's influential new book described only the problem Piketty's thesis creates for conservatives: that the facts show American society...

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Private Science and National Security

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 5:19 PM

As recently sketched in a welcome New York Times article, America's longstanding approach to funding science is being overtaken by a combination of underinvestment in the public sphere and private investment by a few enthusiastic and very wealthy individuals. As compared to so many frivolous things that these...

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On the 4th, Let's Celebrate Privacy

(2) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 8:25 AM

It looks as though this country is in for a lengthy and unpleasant period of sorting out the balance between privacy and security. In the run up to the 4th of July it's worth remembering why privacy is every bit as American a value as our national security.

Privacy is...

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Has the Politics of Cloning Turned the Corner?

(15) Comments | Posted May 29, 2013 | 12:21 PM

A couple of weeks ago, after a group of scientists in Oregon announced that they had created a human blastocyst using techniques sometimes called cloning, something remarkable happened.


Just two or three years ago this development would have reverberated through our political culture, stiffening the spines of social conservatives...

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Taking the Silencer Off Gun Research

(7) Comments | Posted January 10, 2013 | 4:07 PM

Does the National Rifle Association fear science?

So it appears from a powerful letter from 100 experts on gun violence that was delivered to Vice President Biden today. As the letter points out, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health have had their...

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The Moral Wedge in the GOP

(35) Comments | Posted November 16, 2012 | 9:34 AM

Moral issues have defined social conservatism and the core of the Republican Party since Ronald Reagan. Broadly speaking, these issues have to do with relationships between men and women and the beginning and end of life, which in turn are taken as determining our society's collective respect for human life...

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For Science, a Consequential Election

(16) Comments | Posted October 24, 2012 | 12:23 PM

A few weeks ago Nobel Prizes were awarded to the first scientist who cloned a vertabrate and the first scientist to turn an adult cell into something like a primitive stem cell. These achievements remind us of the power of modern biology. That the two winners were British...

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Dozens of Nobel Laureates for Obama

(3) Comments | Posted October 18, 2012 | 9:16 AM

Sixty-eight Nobel laureates in science and medicine have signed an open letter endorsing President Obama.

The president "understands the key role science has played in building a prosperous America, has delivered on his promise to renew our faith in science-based decision making and has championed investment in...

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Can Romney Be a Stem Cell Statesman?

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2012 | 2:45 PM

Is Governor Romney a statesman on the scale of John McCain? Like McCain, he has an opportunity to break with the more extreme elements of his party on an issue that has consistently shown to be important to the American people, and one that he supported for a time as...

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Massive Online Open Courses: From McLuhan to MOOC

(1) Comments | Posted July 23, 2012 | 11:33 AM

In this summer of 2012 the buzz in the world of higher education is about massive online open courses, or "MOOC." It seems that cyber-prophet Marshall McLuhan saw this coming.

As a classroom teacher for over 35 years who is about to set a virtual foot onto the campus of...

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Harvard's Experiment on the Unabomber, Class of '62

(1) Comments | Posted May 25, 2012 | 12:08 PM

The news that Ted Kaczynski was included in the 50th anniversary alumni directory has roiled the class reunion. Better known via his nom de plume (or "guerre," as he might have it) as the "Unabomber," Kaczynski listed his occupation as "prisoner," his awards as "eight life sentences" and...

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Robot Soldiers Will Be a Reality -- And a Threat

(27) Comments | Posted May 14, 2012 | 9:51 AM

Much controversy has surrounded the use of remote-controlled drone aircraft or "unmanned aerial vehicles" in the war on terror. But another, still more awe-inducing possibility has emerged: taking human beings out of the decision loop altogether. Emerging brain science could take us there.

Today drone pilots operate...

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Gene Screens for Soldiers

(20) Comments | Posted April 22, 2012 | 4:09 PM

A team of scientists from UCLA and Duke have published the first study that identifies certain genes as involved in heightening the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder. Writing in the Journal of Affective Disorders, the researchers found that two genes were significantly associated with increased self-reporting of PTSD...

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Check This Box: Science Is Getting Easier/Harder/Both/Neither?

(87) Comments | Posted April 6, 2012 | 3:46 PM

Over the last week we've had news that several gene variants are responsible for some small percentage of autism cases. That came within days of another study that shows how limited genetic knowledge is in disease prediction. Meanwhile we're obtaining so much data from the human...

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