Prof. Glendon’s Acceptance Speech


The Center for Bioethics and Culture and the Paul Ramsey Nominating Committee are pleased to announce Professor Mary Ann Glendon as the recipient of the 2012 Paul Ramsey Award for Excellence in Bioethics.

Prof. Glendon is the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and served on the President’s Council on Bioethics from 2002 to 2005. In response to being selected the 2012 Paul Ramsey Award winner Glendon said, “I would be very glad to receive the Paul Ramsey award and am deeply honored to join the company of previous honorees whom I admire so much.”

The Paul Ramsey Nominating Committee is chaired by C. Ben Mitchell, Ph.D. and includes William Hurlbut, M.D.; Gilbert Meilaender, Ph.D.; Paige Cunningham, J.D.; and John Keown, Ph.D.

Paul Ramsey is regarded by many as one of the most important ethicists of the twentieth century. He was a distinguished writer on bioethics and served as Harrington Spear Pain Professor of Religion at Princeton University. His commitment to the sanctity and dignity of human life was paramount to his work.

Gilbert Meilaender, Ph.D., in his address as recipient of the 2009 Paul Ramsey Award said, “We’ve heard a lot about the relation of science and ethics in recent months. A great deal of it confused, and one would have liked to see the Ramsey scalpel go to work on it. One point he would have surely have made—for he made it in different contexts on several occasions. It’s a point about what it means to be morally serious.”

The Paul Ramsey Award honors those who have made an outstanding contribution to the bioethics discussion and are actively engaged in society; facing the challenges of the 21st century, profoundly defending the dignity of humankind, and enthusiastically embracing ethical biotechnology for the human good. The Ramsey Award is given to those who have demonstrated exemplary achievement in the field of bioethics.

The award was presented at The Center for Bioethics and Culture’s annual Paul Ramsey Award Dinner on March 23, 2012, at the Lakeside Olympic Club in San Francisco, CA.