Lisa Eckenwiler named a Hastings Center Fellow

by Anne Reynolds

Lisa Eckenwiler named a Hastings Center Fellow

On Monday, November 29, the Hastings Center announced the election of 24 new fellows, and notified Mason that philosophy professor Lisa Eckenwiler had been elected to join this community. 

The Hastings Center is one of the leading and most prestigious bioethics centers in the world. It is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose members represent diverse disciplines, including philosophy, law, political science, and education. Founded by philosopher Daniel Callahan and psychoanalyst Willard Gaylin in 1969, the center is the oldest independent, nonpartisan, interdisciplinary research institute of its kind.  

The center addresses social and ethical issues in health care, science, and technology, and was critical to establishing the field of bioethics. Its publications inform key opinion leaders, including health policy-makers, regulators, health care professionals, lawyers, legislators, and judges, and help to shape the standards of practice adopted by physicians, nurses, and lawyers. 

According to the center, its fellows are chosen based on the extent to which their work “informs scholarship and/or public understanding of complex ethical issues in health, health care, life sciences research and the environment.” The fellows demonstrate insight and impact “in areas related to how best to understand and manage the inevitable values questions, moral uncertainties, and societal effects that arise as a consequence of advances in the life sciences, the need to improve health and health care for people of all ages, and mitigation of human impact on the natural world.” 

“This honor means so much to me mostly because it's a recognition of the importance of issues that have not yet been part of mainstream bioethics, like migration and humanitarian crises,” said Eckenwiler. “I owe heartfelt thanks to all the people I have had the privilege to work with around the world - so much of my recent work has been in international collaborations. I'm also sincerely grateful to Mason: our students inspire me every single day and the philosophy department and CHSS have been incredibly supportive. Mason has become a wonderful academic home and I'm proud to be here.” 

Eckenwiler is a professor in Mason’s Department of Philosophy. Her research focuses on global health inequities, refugees, migrants and other vulnerable populations, and humanitarian health ethics.  She is also researching and writing on the relationship between place and health justice: the understanding and operationalization of "vulnerability" in the work of humanitarian health organizations, the integration of migrants and refugees with disabilities and health justice, the ethics of closing humanitarian projects, and "ethical place-making" and health justice for the chronically displaced. 

"We are thrilled to see Dr. Eckenwiler's longstanding contributions to bioethics and global health ethics being recognized in this way,” said Rachel Jones, associate professor and chair, Department of Philosophy. “Her ground-breaking work on ethical placemaking is so very timely, given the multiple kinds of dis-placement that characterize the world we live in today. Being elected as a Hastings Center Fellow is a tremendous honor, and an inspiring example of how philosophers can play a leading role in tackling the complexities of global health justice."