Ronald Michael Green

Academic Appointments

Eunice and Julian Cohen Professor for the Study of Ethics and Human Values in Religion, Emeritus
Department of Community and Family Medicine at the Dartmouth Medical School, Emeritus

Ronald Michael Green is Professor Emeritus of Religion and the Eunice and Julian Cohen Professor Emeritus for the Study of Ethics and Human Values at Dartmouth College. He was a member of the Department of Religion from 1969 to 2015 and is a member of the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. He served from 1992-2011 as Director of Dartmouth's Institute for the Study of Applied and Professional Ethics. A summa cum laude graduate of Brown University, he received his Ph.D. in religious ethics from Harvard University in 1973.  In 1996 and 1997, Professor Green was the founding director of the Office of Genome Ethics at the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Professor Green’s research interests are in genetic ethics, biomedical ethics, and ethics in organizations. He is the author of nine books, editor of five, and author of more than 170 articles in theoretical and applied ethics. His four most recent books are Babies by Design: The Ethics of Genetic Choice (Yale University Press in 2007), Kant and Kierkegaard on Time and Eternity (Mercer University Press, 2011), Suffering and Bioethics, co-edited with Nathan Palpant (Oxford University Press 2014), and Religion and Ethics in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, co-edited with George A. Little (Oxford University Press, 2019). See

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Professor Green serves on the Bioethics Committee of the March of Dimes. In 1994 he was a member of the Human Embryo Research Panel of the NIH, a blue ribbon commission appointed to recommend policy for federal funding of research on the preimplantation human embryo. In 1998-99 Professor Green was president of the Society of Christian Ethics. He served two elected terms as Secretary of the American Academy of Religion, the largest professional association of religious studies educators in the United States. Professor Green currently chairs the Ethics Advisory Board of Advanced Cell Technology, a company engaged in stem cell research. In 1980 he received the Dartmouth Distinguished Teaching Award. This award, given annually to one member of the faculty, is voted upon by the entire graduating class. In 2005, Professor Green was named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

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Emeritus: Contact (603) 646-3738
HB 6036
A.B. Brown University
Ph.D. Harvard University

Selected Publications

On May 30, 2015, Dartmouth's Religion Department hosted a conference celebrating my retirement and that of my colleague Nancy Frankenberry. For that conference, Karen Lebacqz and Stephen R. Palmquist delivered papers examining my writings in the areas of bioethics and philosophy of religion.  Karen Lebacqz's paper, entitled "On Hope and Hard Choices: Ronald M. Green and Bioethics" now appears in the December issue of The Journal of Religious Ethics [Vol. 44, no. 4, (2016), pp. 722-737], where it is followed by the published version of Stephen R. Palmquist's paper, entitled, "The Paradox of Inwardness in Kant and Kierkegaard: Ronald Green’s Legacy in Philosophy of Religion" [The Journal of Religious Ethics [Vol. 44, no. 4, (2016), pp. 738-751].

My own "Response to Karen Lebacqz and Stephen Palmquist," delivered at the conference, follows their papers in the journal [The Journal of Religious Ethics [Vol. 44, no. 4, (2016), pp. 752-759]. As an author, I am permitted to share this essay with interested readers. It can be read here: response-to-kl-sp

“From Genome to Brainome: Charting the Lessons Learned,” in Neuroethics: Defining the Issues in Theory, Practice, and Policy , J Illes (ed.), (2006), 105-121.

“Kant and Kierkegaard on the Need for Historical Faith: An Imaginary Dialogue,” in Kant and the New Philosophy of Religion , C L Firestone and S R Palmquist (eds.), (2006), 157-175.

The Human Embryo Research Debates: Bioethics in the Vortex of Controversy , (2001).

The Ethical Manager , (1994).

Kierkegaard and Kant: the Hidden Debt , (1992).

 “Toward a Copernican Revolution in Our Thinking about Life’s Beginning and Life’s End,” Soundings 66/2 (Summer 1983), 152-173. This, essay, which I regard as one of my early and more important contributions to the our debates about personhood, is available online at:


Works in progress

Stopping the Biological Clock: Egg Freezing and the Coming Reproductive Revolution

Religion and the Newborn

Selected works and activities

Babies by Design: The Science and Ethics of Human Genetic Enhancement ; “Global Bioethics;” “Fetuses, Embryos, and Stem Cells;” “Kierkegaard’s Debt to Kant;” “Fictional Perspectives on Human Genetic Engineering”


(Co-edited with Nathan Palpant), Suffering and Bioethics (Oxford University Press, 2014)

(C0-authored with Al Gini), 10 Virtues of Otstanding Leaders: Leadership and Character (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013)