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The Hastings Center recently announced the election of 24 new fellows, which include Jill A. Fisher, PhD and Rebecca L. Walker, PhD in the UNC Department of Social Medicine.

Jill A. Fisher, PhD and Rebecca L. Walker, PhD

The Hastings Center is pleased to announce the election of 24 new fellows. Hastings Center fellows are a group of more than 200 individuals of outstanding accomplishment whose work has informed scholarship and public understanding of complex ethical issues in health, health care, science, and technology. The new fellows come from six countries and a range of disciplines, including medicine, nursing, philosophy, law, American studies, and theater. Their research and other activities encompass diverse areas such as critical care medicine, conflicts of interests, clinical research ethics, genomics, artificial intelligence, philosophy of race, health equity, and social justice.


Jill A. Fisher, PhD, is professor of social medicine and core faculty in the University of North Carolina Center for Bioethics. Her scholarship and teaching interests center upon how social inequalities are produced or exploited by commercialized medicine in the United States. Dr. Fisher’s NIH-funded research examines how clinical trials are conducted and who participates in them as researchers and human subjects. In her 2009 book Medical Research for Hire (Rutgers University Press), she shows how clinical trials have become a revenue stream for physicians and an important source of medical “care” for uninsured patients. Her more recent work has explored healthy volunteers’ participation in clinical trials. Her 2020 book Adverse Events (NYU Press) analyzes healthy volunteers’ participation in drug trials through the lenses of stigma and social inequality. Dr. Fisher has also published on the social construction of Munchausen syndrome, tattooing as a cultural practice, gender and science, hospital tracking and location technologies, nonhuman animal research, and qualitative methods.


Rebecca L. Walker, PhD, is a professor of social medicine and of philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is also faculty in the Center for Bioethics, a fellow in the Parr Center for Ethics, and adjunct professor of public policy. Her contributions to bioethics have been in animal research ethics, human healthy volunteer research, genomic advances, respect for autonomy, and health justice. Her work on the ethics of biomedical research using nonhuman animals departs from the typical focus on questions of rights or welfare, which tend to lead to polarizing perspectives. Instead, she promotes a virtue ethical approach, which allows for attention to the ethical issues arising internally to animal research practices. Among her publications, Dr. Walker has co-edited the third edition of the Social Medicine Reader (Duke University Press, 2019), Health Inequalities and Justice: New Conversations Across the Disciplines (UNC Press 2016) and Working Virtue: Virtue Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems (Oxford University Press, 2007).