Ben Hurlbut

Associate Professor
Faculty
TEMPE Campus
Mailcode
4501

Biography

J. Benjamin Hurlbut is trained in the history of modern biomedical and life sciences. His research lies at the intersection of science and technology studies, bioethics and political theory. He studies the changing relationships between science, politics and law in the governance of biomedical research and innovation in the 20th and 21st centuries.  

Focusing on controversy around morally and technically complex problems in areas such as human embryonic stem cell research and genomics, Hurlbut examines the interplay of science and technology with shifting notions of democracy, of religious and moral pluralism, and of public reason. 

He is author of Experiments in Democracy: Human Embryo Research and the Politics of Bioethics (Columbia University Press, 2017). He holds an A.B. from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in the History of Science from Harvard University. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Program on Science, Technology, and Society at Harvard Kennedy School.

Education

  • Ph.D. History of Science, Harvard University 2010
  • A.B. Classics, minor in History, Stanford University 2001

Publications

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Research Activity

  • Bio + Society Collaboratory, Program on Science, Technology and Society, Harvard University
  • "Beyond Secularization: piloting new approaches to the study of religion, science and technology in public life" (Co-PI with Gaymon Bennett, Linell Cady, Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Gregg Zachary), Templeton Religion Trust, 2016-2018, $217,400
  • “The Transhumanist Imagination: Innovation, Secularization, Eschatology” (co-PI with Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, administered by the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict) Religion and Innovation in Human Affairs Grants Program, The Historical Society/John Templeton Foundation 2012-2014, $200,000.
  • “Biology and Law” (co-PI with co-PI Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard University, and co-PI Krishanu Saha, U. of Wisconsin, administered by Program on Science, Technology and Society, Harvard University) Uses and Abuses of Biology Grants Programme, Faraday Institute/John Templeton Foundation, 2013-2015, $174,800, recognition: 33%.
  • “Biobank Governance” (PI, administered by Center for Biology and Society and Center for Policy Informatics) Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, 2012-2014, $20,000.
  • “The Constitutional Foundation of Bioethics: A Cross National Comparison” (co-PI with Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard University, and Krishanu Saha, U. of Wisconsin, administered by Program on Science, Technology and Society, Harvard University) Greenwall Foundation, 2011-2014, $50,000.
  • “Life in the Grey Zone: Governance of New Biology in Europe and the United States” (collaborator, PI: Sheila Jasanoff, administered by Program on Science, Technology and Society, Harvard University) National Science Foundation, 2011-2016.

Courses

Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
BIO 493 Honors Thesis
BIO 499 Individualized Instruction
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
BIO 312 Bioethics
BIO 394 Special Topics
HON 394 Special Topics
BIO 493 Honors Thesis
BIO 499 Individualized Instruction
HPS 598 Special Topics
BIO 598 Special Topics
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
BIO 318 History of Medicine
HPS 331 History of Medicine
BIO 492 Honors Directed Study
Spring 2016
Course Number Course Title
BIO 312 Bioethics
HON 394 Special Topics
BIO 394 Special Topics
BIO 598 Special Topics
Fall 2015
Course Number Course Title
BIO 189 Life Sciences Career Paths
Summer 2015
Course Number Course Title
EPD 690 Reading and Conference
Spring 2015
Course Number Course Title
BIO 312 Bioethics
PHI 320 Bioethics
PHI 394 Special Topics
HON 394 Special Topics
BIO 394 Special Topics
BIO 598 Special Topics
HPS 598 Special Topics
Fall 2014
Course Number Course Title
BIO 318 History of Medicine
HPS 331 History of Medicine
HPS 584 Internship
Spring 2014
Course Number Course Title
BIO 312 Bioethics
PHI 320 Bioethics
HON 394 Special Topics
BIO 394 Special Topics
PHI 394 Special Topics
BIO 493 Honors Thesis
BIO 615 Biology and Society Lab
HPS 615 Biology and Society Lab
Fall 2013
Course Number Course Title
BIO 492 Honors Directed Study
HPS 590 Reading and Conference

Presentations

  • Hurlbut, JB. Bodies of Data: Public Participation, Governance, and the New Bioinformatics. Bodies of Data: Public Participation, Governance, and the New Bioinformatics (Mar 2104).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Promising Waste: Choice, Infrastructure, and the Stuff of Progress. Banking Eggs and Embryos (Dec 2014).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Bioethics, Democracy and the Politics of Imagined Futures. STS Summer School: Science and Governance at the Frontiers of Life (Jul 2014).
  • Hurlbut, JB. World Making and Norm-Making: Heterodoxy and Science and Technology Studies. Harvard Institute for Global Law and Policy Colloquium (Jun 2014).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Global Science and Technology Studies. IGLP workshop, Doha (Jan 2014).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Reactive Institutions: Emerging Technologies and Public Bioethics from Recombinant DNA to Synthetic Biology. History of Science Society Annual Meeting (Nov 2013).
  • Hurlbut, JB. States of Placelessness: Risk and Responsibility in H5N1 Research. Society for the Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting (Oct 2013).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Just Knowledge? Conditions of Visibility and Slow Violence. Institute for Global Law and Policy: The Conference, Harvard Law School (Jun 2013).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Imagining Governability: Law and Emerging Technology Since Asilomar. Institute for Global Law and Policy: The Colloquium, Harvard Law School (Jun 2013).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Technologies of Imagination. Technologies of Imagination: 50 Years Beyond Man and His Future (Apr 2013).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Law, Science and Asilomar. Institute for Global Law and Policy Workshop, Doha, Qatar (Jan 2013).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Synthetic Biology. Institute for Science and Global Policy: Synthetic Biology (Dec 2012).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Properties of the Public Good: Innovation and Ownership in Californias Stem Cell Initiative. History of Science Society Annual Meeting, San Diego (Nov 2012).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Bank on Trust: Precision Medicine and the Problem of Participation. ASU Biomedical Informatics Seminar Series (Oct 2012).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Evidence for an Informed Polity. Epistemic Democracy Workshop (Oct 2012).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Technologies of Progress, Technologies of Humility. Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Palo Alto (Oct 2012).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Imagining Futures. Being Human in a Posthuman World (Sep 2012).
  • Hurlbut, JB. "Bank on Trust: Participation, Partnership, and Governance in Biobanking". Biobanking Americas 2012 Conference, Boston (Jun 2012).
  • Hurlbut, JB & Saha, K. Common Problems: disease, participation and public good in the making of personalized medicine. Science and Democracy Network Meeting (Jun 2012).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Architectures for Life Workshop, Harvard University. STS Program Workshop, Harvard University (May 2012).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Biological Kinds and Moral Categories in American Regulation of Human Embryo Research. History of Science Society Annual Meeting (Nov 2011).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Evidence for an Informed Polity: Science and Democracy in a Missouri Court. Society for the Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting (Nov 2011).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Legal Perspectives  Puzzles and Directions. The Constitutional Foundations of Bioethics (Nov 2011).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Workshop: The Constitutional Foundations of Bioethics. Sponsored by the Program on Science, Technology and Society, and the Petrie Flom Center, Harvard (Nov 2011).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Provocations from Early Career STS Scholars. Society for the Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting (Nov 2011).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Self and Society: unites of analysis in political theory and the human sciences. European Molecular Biology Laboratory Science and Society Summer School: The Human Animal (Aug 2011).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Teaching Bioethics. The Tarrytown Meetings (Jul 2011).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Good Science: Knowledge, Technology and the Public Good. Singularity University (Jul 2011).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Representing Reason: science and democracy in the human embryo research debates. Ethical, Philosophical, Legal and Theological Dimensions of Adult and Alternatives Stem Cell Researc (Jun 2011).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Panel: STS and Careers: Have we come home?. STS 20+20 (Apr 2011).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Science, Law and the Legacy of Asilomar. COBINA Project International Workshop, Programme OGM of the Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Paris (Dec 2010).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Constituting Life, Imagining Democracy: the Metaphysics and Politics of Human Cloning in the United States. Society for the Social Studies of Science, Tokyo (Aug 2010).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Grounding Our Concern / Society and Politics. Tarrytown Meetings (Jul 2010).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Containing Potential: Human Cloning, Moral Risk and the Legacy of Asilomar. Science and Democracy Network/ Royal Society Meeting (Jun 2010).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Technologies of Representation: Public Ethics and the Human Embryo Research Debates. Technology and Ethics Series, Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, Yale University (May 2010).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Comments on Medicalization. Construction of New Realities in Medicine, STI, IESE, Barcelona (Apr 2010).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Representing Reason: Human Embryo Research and the Politics of Public Bioethics. STS Circle, Harvard University (Apr 2010).
  • Hurlbut, JB. Commentary. Unruly Democracy: Science Blogs and the Public Sphere, Harvard University (Apr 2010).

Honors/Awards

  • Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching, School of Life Sciences, ASU, 2016.
  • Fellow, Institute for Humanities Research, Arizona State University, 2015-2016.
  • Residential Research Fellowship, Brocher Foundation, Switzerland, Summer 2015.
  • Fellow, Institute For Humanities Research, Arizona State University, 2012-2013.

Service

  • Member, Committee on Integrating Higher Education in the Arts, Humanities, Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
  • School for the Future of Innovation in Society Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology Degree Review Committee, ASU, 2016-current.
  • Undergraduate Committee, School of Life Sciences, ASU, 2014-current
  • National Scholarships and Fellowships Committee, Office of the Provost, ASU 2011-current.
  • Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology Graduate Steering Committee, ASU 2011-current.