Should We Create Human-Animal Chimeras: Yes or No?

Harvard bioethics specialist Glenn Cohen considers the complex question of whether humans should mix their genetic material with other animals to create chimeras.

Surprising Science

It is really, really fun when Harvard professors play ‘What If…’. This is a regular part of Glenn Cohen’s work as a law professor specializing in health policy, bioethics and biotech. Invoking the Jurassic Park rule of ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’ and imagining all eventualities is how Cohen explores the fascinating and sometimes twisted intricacies driving our ethical dilemmas.

Keep reading Show less

Have a Moral Dilemma? Start with Your Gut Reaction, but Don’t Stop There

Making ethical decisions is a process that starts in our gut, i.e with our automatic response. But it is essential to also think about moral dilemmas, says Harvard Law Professor Glenn Cohen.


Helping someone in desperate need is an ethical choice, yet it is a choice we would all make without hesitating, i.e. thinking a single thought. The reason, according to Harvard Law Professor Glenn Cohen, is that ethical choices start in the gut. Our intuition, programmed my millions of years of evolution, instructs us what to do without needing rational deliberation. But at times, especially when making an ethical decision implies a sacrifice on our behalf, rational deliberation is necessary, and likely inescapable.

Keep reading Show less

AI Are People, Too — It's Time We Recognize Their Human Rights

Artificial intelligence already exhibits many human characteristics. Given our history of denying rights to certain humans, we should recognize that robots are people and have human rights.

Technology & Innovation

Artificial intelligence developed in the 20th century can already do much of what distinguished human beings from animals for millennia. The computational power of computer programs, which mimic human intelligence, is already far superior to own own. And ongoing developments in natural language and emotion detection suggest that AI will continue its encroachment on the domain of human abilities.

Keep reading Show less

Abortion and Personhood: What the Moral Dilemma Is Really About

The reason for the cultural divide ignited by the Roe v. Wade decision is not necessarily that people have intractable opinions. Instead, the issue of abortion is a genuinely complex moral dilemma.

Surprising Science

The landmark Roe v. Wade decision, handed down by the United States Supreme Court in 1973, touched off a divide deep within the American culture that shows little signs of healing. The reason is not necessarily that people have intransigent views when it comes to abortion. Instead, the issue is genuinely hard to grapple with, even from a moral standpoint, as Harvard Law Professor and bioethicist Glenn Cohen explains.

Keep reading Show less