Explore the Fascinating Field of Bioethics at our Summer Institute

March 17, 2021

Explore the fascinating interdisciplinary world of bioethics in an interactive, intensive weeklong summer institute. Leading bioethics faculty cover both theory and practical application for fields including public health, the life sciences, medicine, nursing, and law.


Prior coursework or experience in bioethics is not required. For more information about the Summer Institute in Bioethics, please contact Penny White, Sr. Academic Program Coordinator. All courses are offered for academic credit ($1,233/credit), but can also be taken not for credit at a reduced cost.

JHU employees, use your tuition remission benefit!  Registration now open.

Unless otherwise noted, all 2021 Summer Institute courses will meet virtually for a one-week duration.

June 7-11

  • Basics of Bioethics (2 credits)
    9 a.m.-12:20 p.m.

    Bioethics issues confront health care, public health, and science on a daily basis. This course offers an introduction to the foundational approaches to bioethics and discusses their application from both a historical and contemporary perspective. It will provide useful background for health care professionals, policy makers, researchers, students, and anyone interested in these critical issues.

  • Introduction to Ethics of U.S. and International Human Subject Research (2 credits)
    1-4:20 p.m.

    Provides an introduction to the ethics of human subject research and allows participants to apply what they learn to case examples from the U.S. and international settings. Presents ethical principles and a framework for analysis. Reviews key U.S. and international regulations that guide the ethical conduct of research. Through lectures and moderated discussions, addresses a variety of issues including: informed consent for research participation; ethical aspects of study design; just selection of research subjects and duties of justice when working in resource poor settings; and the role and function of institutional review boards/ethics review committees. Uses case discussions to explore research in both domestic and international settings.

June 14-18

  • New! Catastrophe Ethics: How to Respond to Public Health Disasters (2 credits)
    1-4 p.m. Hybrid in-person/remote class

    Overwhelmed by the scale of current threats to human health? Want to think deeply about the appropriate response to such threats? Public health teaches about interventions that improve health for populations, but public health ethics is required for thinking about making difficult trade-offs in the face of looming catastrophe. And moral philosophy is required for interrogating what each individual should do in the moment. This course will provide the tools to think about difficult policy tradeoffs in the face of disaster, and how to live a decent life when surrounded by problems that cannot be solved by individual action.

June 14-25

  • New! Nutrition Equity and Ethics (2 credits)
    9-10:20 a.m.

    Introduces and explores the equity and ethical issues of the nutritional sciences field in both policy and practice. Provides students with the opportunity to think critically about a variety of conflicting views of who is marginalized and hence, nutritionally vulnerable, what is considered a healthy diet, where are the inequities in accessing a nutritious diet, and what are the implications of policies in achieving nutrition security. Borrows tools from practical ethics, political philosophy, and theories of justice to shed light on these issues that determine our common future and the way we personally and socially relate to the food we eat.