Alumnus advises President on national bioethics debate

LeRoy Walters ’62
Religion major
Residing in Bethesda
, Maryland

Occupation: Sr. Professor of Christian ethics at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University

When President George W. Bush wanted a balanced, thoughtful analysis of stem cell research, he sought input from an expert—LeRoy Walters Jr. ’62, senior professor of Christian ethics at the Kennedy Institute, Georgetown University.

According to Walters, the “very gratifying experience” marked a once-in-an-academic-lifetime opportunity, a capstone of sorts to other notable accomplishments such as advising Congress, appearing on NBC Nightly News, and co-authoring two books on human gene therapy, The Ethics of Human Gene Therapy (Oxford University Press, 1997) and Contemporary Issues in Bioethics (sixth edition, Wadsworth Publishing Co., 2003).

Also, Walters continues his work developing the bioethics library at Georgetown, now called the National Reference Center for Bioethics Literature (NRCBL), which is the largest collection of biomedical ethics materials in the world (

Commonly considered a student-advocate and proponent of open dialogue, Walters, who is also a professor of philosophy at Georgetown, continually engages students and professionals in conversation about genetic intervention, genetic engineering and gene therapy research, and often, their spiritual and ethical consequences.

“One goal of all scholarship,” said Walters “should be, I think, to cultivate human attitudes toward other human beings and to make at least a modest contribution toward creating a better society.”

Posted in 1962, About Leadership, Alumni, Grad School Bound, Philosophy, Religious Studies | Comments Off

Posted on July 7th, 2008

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