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Nita A. Farahany, Professor of Law and Philosophy and Director of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society    editNita A. Farahany

Nita A. Farahany is a leading scholar on the ethical, legal, and social implications of emerging technologies. She is a Professor of Law & Philosophy, the Founding Director of Duke Science & Society, Chair of the Duke MA in Bioethics & Science Policy, and principal investigator of SLAP Lab

Farahany is a frequent commentator for national media and radio shows. She presents her work to diverse audiences including the World Economic ForumAspen Ideas FestivalTED, Judicial Conferences for the US Court of Appeals, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Academies of Science Workshops, the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy, and by testifying before Congress.

In 2010, she was appointed by President Obama to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues and served until 2017. She is a member of the National Advisory Council for the National Institute for Neurological Disease and Stroke, an elected member of the American Law Institute, President-Elect and Board member of the International Neuroethics Society, a member of the Neuroethics Working Group of the US Brain Initiative, the Global Precision Medicine Council for the World Economic Forum, and the President’s Research Council for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. She is also the Chair Elect of the Section on Jurisprudence for the Association of American Law Schools. She serves on Scientific and Ethics Advisory Boards for several corporations.

Farahany is a co-editor-in-chief and co-founder of the Journal of Law and the Biosciences, an editorial board member of the American Journal of Bioethics (Neuroscience), and on the Board of Advisors for Scientific American. She is also the past Chair of the Criminal Justice Section of the American Association of Law Schools, and the recipient of the 2013 Paul M. Bator award given annually to an outstanding legal academic under 40.

Farahany received her AB in genetics, cell, and developmental biology at Dartmouth College, a JD and MA from Duke University, as well as a PhD in philosophy. She also holds an ALM in biology from Harvard University. In 2004-2005, Farahany clerked for Judge Judith W. Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, after which she joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University. In 2011, Farahany was the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor of Human Rights at Stanford Law School.

Office Location: Duke Law School 210 Science Dr, Box 90362, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: (919) 613-8514
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Ph.D., Duke University, 2006
M.A., Duke University, 2004
J.D., Duke University, 2004
A.B., Dartmouth College, 1998

Philosophy of Biology

Teaching (Fall 2019):
  • LAW 341.01, Fda law and policy Synopsis
    Law School 4000, MW 10:30 AM-11:55 AM

Recent Publications   (More Publications)
  • Farahany, N; Chodavadia, S; Katsanis, S. "Ethical Guidelines for DNA Testing in Migrant Family Reunification." American Journal of Bioethics 19.2 (2019): 4-7.
  • Farahany, N; Greely, H; Giattino, C. "Part-revived Pig Brains Raise Slew of Ethical Quandaries." Nature 568 (2019).
  • Farahany, N; Greely, H. "Neuroscience and the Criminal Justice System." Annual Review of Criminology 2 (2019): 451-471.
  • Greely, HT; Grady, C; Ramos, KM; Chiong, W; Eberwine, J; Farahany, NA; Johnson, LSM; Hyman, BT; Hyman, SE; Rommelfanger, KS; Serrano, EE. "Neuroethics Guiding Principles for the NIH BRAIN Initiative.." The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 38.50 (December, 2018): 10586-10588. [doi]
  • Farahany, NA; Greely, HT; Hyman, S; Koch, C; Grady, C; PaČ™ca, SP; Sestan, N; Arlotta, P; Bernat, JL; Ting, J; Lunshof, JE; Iyer, EPR; Hyun, I; Capestany, BH; Church, GM; Huang, H; Song, H. "The ethics of experimenting with human brain tissue.." Nature 556.7702 (April, 2018): 429-432. [doi]

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