Shaping the Future of Bioethics

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to Baltimore, home of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics! The theme of this year’s ASBH Annual Conference is core to the Berman Institute’s work on helping to shape the future of bioethics.  We’re working to develop new approaches to energize public discussion about important issues in the field, and to help inform and guide policy.

Emblematic of our efforts are two new projects, highlighted below, that have launched this week. playing god? is a 10-episode podcast exploring the complex ethical questions that often accompany lifesaving medical innovations. Moral Histories is an oral history project that is collecting the stories and perspectives of the founding generation of bioethics. These projects reflect a vision for a future of bioethics that includes engaging broad audiences in our work.  Please have a listen, then share your thoughts about what the future of bioethics should be.

Finally, to help you take full advantage of your time in our city, Berman Institute faculty, staff, and students have created a guide to their favorite Baltimore destinations below. We hope you enjoy your visit to our city!


Jeffrey Kahn, PhD, MPH

Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics

What is the Future of Bioethics?

Thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts about the future of bioethics. The top responses through 3:30 p.m. Friday are below. Vote for your favorite answers.

playing god?

A 10-episode podcast exploring the complex ethical decisions accompanying medical innovations

Moral Histories

A new oral history project interview members of the founding generation of bioethics

Join the Berman Institute at ASBH

Berman Institute faculty are presenting more than two dozen sessions on a wide range of topics at ASBH.

Share your thoughts about Baltimore

A Visitor’s Guide to Baltimore

(from the bioethicists who know it best)

we asked the Berman Institute’s faculty and staff to share their local knowledge with asbh annual meeting attendees. here are their recommendations.

Best Places to Eat

Too many choices, but a current favorite is Foraged
Local ingredients (try the mushroom stew or the lion’s mane crab cake!) and great drinks in an intimate setting.

Verde Pizza
woodfire pizzas with burrata

Crispy tofu!


Thames Street Oyster House
Walking distance from the conference, the chef combines his local upbringing with his New England culinary training to produce delicious seafood that draws from the best ingredients and dishes of both regions.

Angeli’s Pizzeria
Good prices, great pizza.

Gunther & Co; and then stroll over to DiPasquales
You’ll get great food at Gunther (snag the patio if you can!), and then just down the block is DiPasquales for fresh Italian groceries, cannolis, and possibly the best meatball sandwich in the city.

Clark Burger
Clark Burger has the best hamburgers I’ve ever eaten, and they even come with a bit of ‘Bob’s Burgers’ creative flair. And if this wasn’t enough, there’s also authentic poutine. What’s not to love.

Best Places for a Drink

Max’s Taphouse
A great place to find a new or rare beer to try for the first time.

The Elk Room
Speakeasy setting with creative drinks!

Best Places for a Cup of Coffee

Daily Grind
This place is part of the fabric of Baltimore. It seems like it has been here forever. The Fell’s point location offers an interesting place to sit and drink, or take your coffee with you and stroll through Fell’s Point to visit the shops and waterfront, including the Broadway Pier, which had been abandoned and was used as a stand-in for Baltimore police headquarters in the show ‘Homicide’. It’s now been converted to the “Sagamore Pendry”, a boutique hotel owned by Kevin Plank, the Under Armour guy

Pie Time
Homemade pies and bagels

Waterfront views

Ovenbird Bakery
Started by a former bird biologist and conservationist with a passion for the kinds of bread he enjoyed in Europe, everything here is delicious.

Best Places for Dessert

Cafe Dear Leon
Their hourly bake schedule means that the pastries available are the freshest!

I come for the pignoli. I could eat that alone and be happy. But, there’s a full range of amazing Italian desserts (all manner of cookies, tira misu, cannolis, gelato, etc) on offer, and it all comes with a giant dose of Baltimore’s Little Italy ambience (and free dessert on your birthday).

Best Places for Taking a Stroll

Waterfront, Patterson park
Great green spaces!

Waterfront Promenade
A great way to take in the skyline, water, and sunshine.

Patterson Park
Why you love it: There’s a (good) haunted feel to this park – with remnants and ruins of its grand victorian past amidst a well-loved, thriving modern park. Great views from the west side of the park (especially if the Pagoda is open). Beautiful trees. Good people watching. Stop for a soft-serve ice cream at Bmore Licks.

Fort McHenry
A beautiful waterfront point, great for a walk and a trip through history. Look down the bay to see the buoy anchored at the spot where Francis Scott Key penned the national anthem while being detained on a British ship during the bombardment.

Along the water between the Inner Harbor and Fells Point
You’ll see iconic baltimore landmarks like Federal Hill and the Domino sugar sign, and can check out yachts, sailboats, and cargo ships passing through.

Best Place for Out-of-Town Guests to Visit

The Walters Art Museum
The Walters has a really interesting collection in some grand buildings – and it’s free! Set in the Washington Monument square, and a lovely neighborhood for a stroll. Walk around the corner to the northeast to the George Peabody Library while you’re there to see one of the world’s best library spaces.

The Avenue in Hampden
Hampden is a quirky, fun, and quintessentially ‘Baltimore’ neighborhood. Interesting local shops, lots of good food. Check out Ekiben, Paulie Gees, and the Charmery while here.