Renowned bioethicist Caplan to speak at Penn State

October 17, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- As part of the “Research Ethics Lecture Series,” the Rock Ethics Institute will host Arthur Caplan, the Drs. William F and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor and founding head of the Division of Bioethics at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City. 

Caplan will be speaking at noon Monday, Nov. 10, in the Foster Auditorium (102 Paterno Library) on the University Park campus. Registration to attend the event in-person is recommended. However, the event will be streamed live. We will also take questions and send out real time updates through our Twitter page during the event. This event is free and open to the public.

SARI@PSU participation credit is available for the in-person event.

During the lecture, Caplan will argue that individuals, from students and faculty to airline personnel, should receive mandated vaccinations as they often make sense even though there are important arguments against imposing vaccination mandates. During his talk, he will use well known vaccination examples such as HPV, flu, measles and polio to make the case for requiring vaccination for many Americans.

Caplan has served on a number of national and international committees. He is currently the ethics adviser to the Department of Defense/Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on synthetic biology and a member of the National Council on Youth Sports Safety. Additionally, he writes a column on bioethics for, is a commentator on bioethics and health care issues for WebMD/Medscape and is a regular commentator on medicine and science for WGBH radio in Boston. He appears frequently as a guest and commentator on various national and international media outlets.

The Rock Ethics Institute promotes the integration of ethics across the Penn State curriculum and supports innovative interdisciplinary ethical research, teaching and outreach. The Institute supports ethics-based curriculum development for new courses and the addition of ethical dimensions to existing courses; organizes faculty resources and seminars on ethics education; and sponsors conferences, lecture series and research projects on key themes in bioethics, ethics education, leadership, climate change and the Critical Philosophy of Race. More information about the Rock Ethics Institute can be found at

  • Photo of Arthur Caplan

    Arthur Caplan is the founding head of the Division of Bioethics at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City. 

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 19, 2016