Jonathan D. Moreno is a Penn Integrates Knowledge university professor at the University of Pennsylvania, holding the David and Lyn Silfen chair.  He is also Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, of History and Sociology of Science, and of Philosophy.

His most recent book, Impromptu Man: J.L. Moreno and the Origins of Psychodrama, Encounter Culture, and the Social Network, the life and times of his father the psychiatrist J.L. Moreno, was named a “#1 new release” by  It has been translated into Portuguese and is scheduled to be published in Chinese by the Beijing Normal University Press.   Moreno’s previous book, The Body Politic: The Battle Over Science in America, was named a Best Book of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews.   A revised and updated edition of his book Mind Wars: Brain Science and the Military in the 21st Century, which has been published in Japanese, is available in paperback.   His co-authored book on neuroscience is under contract with Columbia University Press.  He is currently working on a  book for W.W. Norton on the history and philosophy of bioethics with Penn president Dr. Amy Gutmann.

In 2008-09 Moreno served as a member of President Barack Obama’s transition team.  His work has been cited by Al Gore and was used in the development of the screenplay for “The Bourne Legacy.”  His online neuroethics course drew more than 36,000 registrants in 2013.  Moreno’s writings have been translated into Chinese, German, Japanese and Portugese. The American Journal of Bioethics has called him “the quietly most interesting bioethicist of our time.”

Moreno is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and is a National Associate of the National Research Council. He has served as a senior staff member for three presidential advisory commissions, including the bioethics commission under President Obama, and has given invited testimony for both houses of congress.  Moreno is the U.S. member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee  and co-chaired a subcommittee that produced a report on the refugee crisis.  From 2005 to 2017 he was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

Moreno received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis, was an Andrew W. Mellon post-doctoral fellow, holds an honorary doctorate from Hofstra University, and is a recipient of the Benjamin Rush Medal from the College of William and Mary Law School and the Dr. Jean Mayer Award for Global Citizenship from Tufts University.  Since 2014 he has been Visiting Professor in History at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England.  In 2016 with the support of the Wellcome Trust he collaborated with Kent’s Professor Ulf Schmidt on human research ethics in Central-Eastern Europe during the cold war.

Moreno has served as an adviser to many non-governmental organizations, including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has been a member of the Governing Board of the International Neuroethics Society and is a Faculty Affiliate of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, a Fellow of the Hastings Center and the New York Academy of Medicine, and a past president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.  He advises various science, health, and national security agencies.

Moreno’s writings have enjoyed favorable critical attention. Kirkus Reviews said that Moreno’s book, The Body Politic: “illuminates intricate threads of history and complex philosophical arguments. Patient general readers, as well as scholars and students of bioethics, will benefit from Moreno’s erudition and fairness….”  Publisher’s Weekly called it “[a]n important analysis of the societal currents swirling around volatile scientific issues . . . Moreno delivers a powerful defense of science [and] respects his readers’ intelligence in this nuanced and thoughtful book.”JAMA described Progress in Bioethics (2010) as “provocative and stimulating.” Publisher’s Weekly said that his book Science Next (2009) “brings hope into focus with reports of innovation that will enhance lives.”  The journal Nature called Mind Wars “fascinating and sometimes unsettling.” The New York Times said that Undue Risk: Secret State Experiments on Humans (1999) was “an earnest and chilling account.”

His other books include Ethical Guidelines for Innovative Surgery (2006); Is There an Ethicist in the House? (2005); In the Wake of Terror: Medicine and Morality in a Time of Crisis (2003); Ethical and Regulatory Aspects of Clinical Research (2003); Deciding Together: Bioethics and Moral Consensus (1995); Ethics in Clinical Practice (2000); and Arguing Euthanasia (1995). Moreno has published more than 500 papers, reviews and book chapters, and is a member of several editorial boards. He frequently blogs on news sites like and Psychology Today and is often quoted in major media.


5 Comments on “Bio”

  1. Ruth Mary Pollack says:

    When I was in graduate training in clinical psych., sometime between 1950-2, I was privileged to attend a conference/demonstration by your parents. Zerka was an incredible inspiration to me and I have never forgotten her intuitive genius. It taught me an invaluable lesson I still carry with me. My roommate went to Beacon and took special training and that added to my awareness of their work. Is Zerka still alive? I was born in 1924.

  2. I would like to send an e-mail (or regular mail) to Dr. Moreno; how can I do that? Thank you.

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