Jonathan H. Marks is associate professor of bioethics, humanities, law, and philosophy at Penn State, and director of the Bioethics Program, which brings together interdisciplinary scholars from the liberal arts, the life sciences, agricultural sciences, law and medicine.
Jonathan devotes much of his research to policy-relevant issues in "macro-bioethics" involving, for example, the impact of industry funding on research in the biosciences (especially health-related food and nutrition research), the access to health care of undocumented patients, and the intersections between environment and public health, and between professional ethics and human rights. Much of this work draws on Jonathan's background in international law.
Jonathan leads an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State, and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard exploring the systemic effects and ethical implications of industry funding of health-related food research, nutrition education, policy and practice. He has presented this work to the Institute of Medicine (Food Forum), in schools of business and public policy, and in various international fora including the European Consortium for Political Research (Annual Meeting 2014, Glasgow) and the Center for the Study of Transnational Law in London.
As director of the bioethics program, Jonathan developed a dual-title Ph.D. program that requires students to combine bioethics with another discipline in their dissertation. He also redesigned a course on ethical leadership that was featured in an article in the New York Times in 2012. The course draws on behavioral science, social and political history, biography, and literature (as well as philosophical texts) to explore ethical leadership--or failures thereof--in the professions and in various institutions including government, the academy, and industry. To read more about this, click here.
Jonathan's writing has appeared in The Times (London), the New York Times, LA Times, and the New England Journal of Medicine, as well as a variety of other scholarly journals. He has been interviewed on NPR, BBC Radio and Voice of America (among others) on topics that include international law, professional ethics, and human rights.
While on sabbatical in 2014-15, Jonathan is working on a book that explores the ethical implications of the relationships between industry, government, and the academy in the context of both research and policymaking. The book will employ examples drawn from research and policy related to food, environment, and health. In the book, Marks will address the implications of industry interactions for the integrity of, and trust and confidence in, academic institutions and government bodies (including intergovernmental organizations).