Visiting Scholars

Terry Fellowship Recipients

Joseph J. Fins, M.D., M.A.C.P.

Joseph Fins portraitDr. Joseph J. Fins is the Dwight H. Terry Visiting Scholar in Bioethics for the calendar year 2014, with additional appointments as Senior Research Scholar in Law at Yale Law School and Visiting Professor of the History of Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Fins is the E. William Davis, Jr. M.D. Professor of Medical Ethics and Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College where he also serves as Professor of Medicine (with Tenure), Professor of Public Health and Professor of Medicine in Psychiatry. He is also an Attending Physician and the Director of Medical Ethics at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center and on the Adjunct Faculty of Rockefeller University where he is a Senior Attending Physician at The Rockefeller University Hospital. Dr. Fins is an elected Member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and was elected a Fellow of The American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2012. A recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, Dr. Fins has also received a Soros Open Society Institute Project on Death in America Faculty Scholars Award, a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Visiting Fellowship and support from the Dana, Buster and Katz Foundations. He was appointed by President Clinton to The White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy and currently serves on The New York State Task Force on Life and the Law by gubernatorial appointment. Dr. Fins graduated from Wesleyan University (B.A. with Honors, The College of Letters, 1982) and Cornell University Medical College (M.D., 1986). He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in General Internal Medicine at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and has served as Associate for Medicine at The Hastings Center. The author of over 250 publications, his most recent book is A Palliative Ethic of Care: Clinical Wisdom at Life’s End (Jones and Bartlett, 2006). His current scholarly interests include ethical and policy issues in brain injury and disorders of consciousness, palliative care, research ethics in neurology and psychiatry, medical education and methods of ethics case consultation. He is a co-author of the landmark 2007 Nature paper describing the first use of deep brain stimulation in the minimally conscious state. His forthcoming book, Rights Come to Mind: Brain Injury, Ethics & The Struggle for Consciousness is under contract with The Cambridge University Press. Most recently, Dr. Fins has been selected by the American College of Physicians as the winner of the 2019 Nicholas B. Davis Memorial Scholar Award.

Dr. Fins is President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and is a member of the Hastings Center Board of Trustees where he is Chair of the Fellows’ Council. He has served as a trustee of Wesleyan University and the American College of Physicians Foundation. A former Governor of the American College of Physicians, he has been honored with the College’s Laureate Award. Dr. Fins is a Master of the American College of Physicians. He is also a Fellow of The New York Academy of Medicine and The Hastings Center and was appointed to the Council of the Europaische Akademie (Germany). He is an elected member of the American Clinical and Climatological Association and Alpha Omega Alpha.

Further information on Dr. Fins’ is available at his Weill Cornell webpage, here.


Thomas H. Murray, Ph.D.

Thomas Murray portraitThomas H. Murray, Senior Research Scholar and President Emeritus of The Hastings Center, was the Dwight H. Terry Visiting Scholar in Bioethics for the academic year 2012-13. Dr. Murray stepped down as President of The Hastings Center in June 2012 after having served in that position for 13 years. He was formerly the Director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, where he was also the Susan E. Watson Professor of Bioethics. He serves on many editorial boards and has testified before many Congressional committees. Among other current posts, he serves as Chair of the Ethical Issues Review Panel for the World Anti-Doping Agency, International Expert Advisor to Singapore’s Bioethics Advisory Committee, and Vice Chair of Charity Navigator. He has been president of the Society for Health and Human Values and of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. Murray is the author of more than 250 publications, including The Worth of a Child;The Cultures of Caregiving: Conflict and Common Ground among Families, Health Professionals and Policy Makers, edited with Carol Levine;Genetic Ties and the Family: The Impact of Paternity Testing on Parents and Children, edited with Mark A. Rothstein, Gregory E. Kaebnick, and Mary Anderlik Majumder; Performance-Enhancing Technologies in Sports: Ethical, Conceptual, and Scientific Issues, edited with Karen J. Maschke and Angela A. Wasunna; and, most recently, Trust and Integrity in Biomedical Research: The Case of Financial Conflicts of Interest, edited with Josephine Johnston. He is also editor, with Maxwell J. Mehlman, of the Encyclopedia of Ethical, Legal and Policy Issues in Biotechnology. Murray is currently PI of The Hastings Center’s project, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, on ethics and synthetic biology. He is writing a book on values, drugs, and sport with the working title Why We Play. In 2004 he received an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree from Uppsala University.

Furhter information about Thomas Murray’s publications and public service appears on his Hastings Center webpage, here.


Yale/Hastings Scholars

Marcin Michalak, JD, Ph.D.

Marcin Michalak portraitSeptember 2016 - February 2016

Marcin Michalak, JD, PhD, adjunct in the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Gdańsk. Marcin’s scientific interests focus on the issues of medical law. In 2011, as an undergradute, he participated in the Yale Bioethics Summer Program. In 2015, he received a scholarship from the National Science Center under which, from September 2015 to February 2016, he was a visiting scholar at the Yale Bioethics Center. During his stay in the center, Marcin was researching the issues of historical development of physicians’ liablity for medical malpractice in the US law. The result of the research was a PhD thesis titled „Kształtowanie się odpowiedzialności za niewłasciwe leczenie na gruncie amerykańskiego systemu prawnego w latach 1794-1860. Studium historyczno-prawne.” (Development of medical malpractice law on the ground of the American legal system in the years 1794-1860.). In 2018, Marcin delivered a conference speech at The American Society for the Legal History Annual Conference in Houston. Marcin emphasizes that staying at Yale University was one of the most amazing and exciting experiences in his life and the opportunity to reside in this environment was crucial for his scientific development.


Dr. Martha Finnegan, PhD. MRCPsych. MB. BCh. BAO

Martha Finnegan portrait

March - June 2018

Dr. Finnegan is a clinician-academic in psychiatry, with a background in medical law and ethics, working in the public health care system in Ireland.

Dr. Finnegan writes: “My clinical research focus is in severe enduring mental illness, and I found that throughout my research career, I was developing skills in negotiating ethical grey areas, without a substantive ethics education.Towards the end of my PhD I received a Fulbright scholarship co-sponsored by the Health Research Board of Ireland to visit Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics and the Hastings Center from March to June 2018, and took a career break to dedicate myself to full-time thinking, reading and discussion of ethical issues in a way that had not been possible before. I primarily focused on vulnerable populations’ access to clinical research opportunities, however my time at both Centers allowed me to ‘catch up’ on ethics education and discourse, to be exposed to new fields of work, sources and contacts. The impact on both my clinical and academic practice of this opportunity continues to expand over time. I also had a wonderful time during my visit, with many memorable experiences, but primarily I was afforded freedom to immersively learn and explore bioethics without an output target or deadline, which is a once in a lifetime experience for anyone!”


Angela Ballantyne, BSc, Ph.D.

Angela Ballantyne portraitFall 2018

Angela Ballantyne (BSc, PhD) is an Associate Professor in Bioethics at the University of Otago (Wellington, New Zealand). Angela teaches medical ethics in the 4th and 5th year ALM program at Wellington. Her research interests include exploitation, research ethics, vulnerability, ethics of pregnancy and reproductive technologies, big data and secondary use research with clinical data. Angela has worked in a wide range of international settings, including Australia, England, Europe and the United States. She received her BSc in Genetics and Molecular Biology from Victoria University (Wellington) and PhD in Bioethics from Monash University (Australia), and spent a year of her doctorate program undertaking research at Imperial College London. She has worked in schools of medicine, primary health care and philosophy. Her interest in global health policy lead to a position as Technical Officer for Genetics and Ethics for the Human Genetics unit at WHO in Geneva in 2005, where she worked on projects concerning the ethical, legal and social issues associated with medical genetics. Angela was a Visiting Scholar at the Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics 2006 -2007, and returned for a sabbatical for the Fall term 2018 (August-December).  She was President of the International Association of Bioethics (2016-2017) and is the ethics member of the Central Ethics Committee in New Zealand (2010-2018). In 2016 she received a NZ Marsden Fast Start grant and in 2015 a UOW Award for Best Emerging Researcher.

Dr. Ballantyne writes, “I have had the pleasure and privilege to spend the Fall 2018 semester at the Yale Interdisciplinary Centre for Bioethics.  Yale is a great base to get research done. The Centre is warm and welcoming, but quiet enough to get on with research. It is also a great base to travel from – catching the train throughout New England is really easy. I have travelled to New York, Philadelphia, and Washington for work; as well as attending the annual conference of the American Society of Bioethics in California.

During my stay at Yale, I have loved reconnecting with old friends (from my year here in 2007/8) and meeting new young bioethics scholars.  As an international visitor, I have really appreciated long afternoon chats with Steve, as he attempts to explain the legal, structural and political nuances of the US health system.  

New Haven is an easy city to visit – the campus is beautiful, everything is walking distance, there are lots of food options, and the quality of the coffee is much improved since 2008! We have enjoyed watching the Yale sports teams and free concerts at the Yale music school.  In addition, there is a line-up of interesting events at the Law School and Yale School of Medicine.  A semester seemed like a long time, but we have been so busy, it has flashed by. 

I am here with my husband and three children. Steve and Lori have gone out of their way to help provide advice and assistance to get us settled. The children have attended a New Haven Public School, and the New Haven Music School preschool, both of which have been enriching experiences. The teachers and families have been so friendly, and our children have loved riding the school bus, meeting local kids and learning to speak “American”. If you are thinking of visiting with kids, please feel free to email me, I’m happy to let you know what we have learnt.  Thanks again for having us, Steve and Lori. I hope to be back in 2020!”


Bryn S. Esplin, JD

Bryn Esplin portrait

September – October 2018

Bryn S. Esplin joined the Department of Humanities in Medicine at Texas A&M University as an Assistant Professor in 2016 after completing a two-year Clinical Ethics Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH. Professor Esplin graduated cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in Rhetoric, Image and Narrative before pursuing her law degree. During her legal training, she represented clients as a student attorney in the Immigration Clinic, and completed both an extern clerkship with the Supreme Court of Nevada as well as an Ethics internship at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, where she specialized in neurodegenerative disease with psychiatric features.

Motivated by the impact of recent changes in immigration enforcement priorities that she witnesses first-hand in Texas, her project as a Yale/Hastings Visiting Scholar, Bioethics at the Border, identified ways to safeguard the quality of care that detainees in Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) custody receive when presenting to outside hospitals, particularly in regards to informed consent and confidentiality. The project also devised practical strategies to assist medical professionals in fulfilling their ethical obligations to this ever-increasing patient population while reckoning an uncertain legal landscape that might otherwise compromise patient care and professional codes of conduct.

Professor Esplin benefitted tremendously from the generous support and enthusiasm of the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics Faculty and Scholars with whom she worked closely and who provided invaluable guidance throughout her residency. The opportunities to connect with other scholars, human rights organizations, and public health officials, as well as the ability to access the vast research resources and libraries at Yale and the Hastings Center, all proved invaluable to the project and created ongoing collaborations to effect meaningful change for patients and providers alike.


Anna Lewis, MPhysPhil, DPhil

Anna Lewis portraitNovember 2018

Anna has her doctorate in Systems Biology from the University of Oxford, and had been working in the genetics industry in the San Francisco Bay Area for a number of years as a computational biologist and later as a product manager, building and designing software to interpret genomes. 
“In mid-2018 I realized that the questions keeping me up at night concerned the ethical, social and political implications of genomics. My time spent as a visiting scholar at The Hastings Center and at Yale convinced me to attempt the switch full time into bioethics. I spent my time at Yale preparing post doc/fellowship applications, and am delighted to be heading to Harvard in the Fall of 2019. Yale offered a very supportive and encouraging environment. Thank you Steve and Lori!” 
Anna’s prior bioethics research has focused on implications of somatic germline editing. She is now focused on the “predictive turn” in genomics via polygenic scores, and its relation to the prediction sciences in other fields. 

Daphne Martschenko, MPhil

Daphne Martschenko portraitDecember 2018

Daphne Martschenko is a PhD Candidate at the University of
Cambridge Faculty of Education. Broadly, her scholarship explores the
social and ethical implications of sociogenomics. More specifically, her
doctoral work focuses on the implications behavior genetics for the
American educational system. Her dissertation entitled “The New
Borderland” looks at teacher conceptualizations of race, intelligence,
and socioeconomic status in relation to genetics as well as educators’
views on the relevance of genetics for education policy. Daphne has an
MPhil (with distinction) in “Politics, Development, and Democratic
Education,” also from the University of Cambridge, and graduated from
Stanford University (Phi Beta Kappa) with a double-major in Medical
Anthropology and Russian Language. Daphne is also a recently retired
athlete in the sport of rowing. She has represented the United States
twice at the Under-23 World Championships, is a Pac12 and NCAA Champion,
and was 2018 President of Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club.


Click here to view an archive of past scholars