Meet James Giordano, PhD

James Giordano
Headshot of James Giordano

James Giordano, PhD, is chief of the Neuroethics Studies Program and senior scholar in residence at the Edmund D. Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, and Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Biochemistry at the Georgetown University Medical Center. He is also senior bioethicists with the the Defense Medical Ethics Center of the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, engaging directly with the Defense Health Administration and the Department of Navy, Army and Air Force Medicine on issues relevant to both research and practice within the military that evoke ethical, legal and social concerns.

Giordano was a US Naval Aerospace Physiologist and served with the United States Marine Corps, where he was detailed to evaluate electronic and biological weapons systems, and human performance optimization, with particular emphasis upon how current and emerging scientific methods and technologies might be used  or misused in such ways. He has also worked with the Federal Government and international governments, on issues from healthcare to multinational global biosecurity, inclusive of the oversight, surveillance, regulation, guidance and governance of biological and chemical weapons.

His works articulates the scientific and philosophical approaches to explore questions about the brain~mind relationship, emotions, thought and behavior, and the ethical issues that arise in and from such studies and their applications. On the scientific side, he addresses how thinking beings engage moral thought and processes of moral decision making, and how the tools and technologies of brain sciences are utilized in the social sphere, in areas such as medicine, public life, wellness, global security, biosafety, public health and the military. On the philosophical side, he inquires on the moral, ethical and legal implications and effects that that knowledge and capability confers.

At the Pellegrino Center, Giordano has collaborated with the academic community both nationally and internationally to address the ethical opportunities and challenges of bioscience and technology in the 21st century at a multinational scale, in ways that strive to establish positive discourse in bringing together different systems of value, and belief. Through a cosmopolitan approach to ethics, his work highlights the need to engage with multiple cultures on the global stage, in order to appreciate the diverse histories, needs, values and ideologies that are important to the share- and stakeholders of scientific and technological developments.

One of the principal projects of his research group at the Pellegrino Center examines the ethical responsibilities of the arts in apprehending and communicating the essence of science and technology in society, and posing -and thus prompting contemplation of- “what if”, and exploring different possibilities regarding scientific and technological developments.

Giordano is the author of over 300 publications, 7 books, and 20 government whitepapers on neurotechnology, biosecurity, and ethics, he is Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Philosophy, Ethics and Humanities in Medicine; and Associate Editor of the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics.

Featured scholarship

Brain-shaped nebula

“The Emerging Neurobioeconomy: Implications for National Security”

August 19th, 2020

James Giordano and his co-authors examine growth of the neuroscience and neurotechnology market in recent years. They discuss the distinct ethical and security issues posed by neurobioeconomy, provide examples of such issues, and propose a risk assessment and mitigation approach.…

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