During Women’s History Month, PRIM&R recognizes the significance of inclusion as integral to advancing science and ensuring all benefit from research. We are honoring the contribution of women this month by highlighting just a few of many female scholars who have made a valuable impact on research ethics.
Dorothy Height, American civil rights and women’s rights activist. Height accomplished many great things during her lifetime, including serving as president of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) for 40 years and as an elected leader of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). She worked to lift African American women throughout her life, focusing on unemployment, illiteracy, and voter awareness. Height led influential work throughout the civil rights movement; she helped organize voter registration in the South and voter education in the North; she created scholarship programs for student civil rights workers, advocated for improving conditions for black domestic workers, and created diverse programs. She was also involved in the YWCA’s integration policy. In 1989, she received the Citizens Medal Award from President Ronald Reagan. In 2004, Height was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal and inducted into the Democracy Hall of Fame International. She also received an estimated 24 honorary degrees. Height passed away at the age of 98 in 2010. President Barack Obama delivered the eulogy for her funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral.
Ruth R. Faden, PhD, MPH, founded the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and was director from 1995 until 2016. She was also the inaugural Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director from 2014 to 2016. Since 1995, Dr. Faden has served as the inaugural Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics. Her research focuses on structural justice theory, national and global challenges in food and agriculture, learning health care systems, women’s health, the rights and interests of pregnant women, health systems design and priority setting, and advances in science and technology. Dr. Faden was co-recipient of PRIM&R’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 with her husband, Tom L. Beauchamp. She was also a speaker on PRIM&R’s 2020 Advancing Ethical Research Conference (AER20) Panel: Reworking Justice in Research: The Time Is Now.
Professor Pat King is an adjunct professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Hygiene and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, where she teaches Family Law courses and offers a seminar in Bioethics and the Law. She is also a member of the American Law Institute and the Institute of Medicine and a Fellow of the Hastings Center. Her expertise is in the study of law, medicine, ethics, and public policy. King’s work in the field of bioethics includes service on the HEW-Advisory Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, the President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research, the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, and the Ethics, Legal and Social Issues Working Group of the Human Genome Project.
Carol Greider, PhD is the Daniel Nathans Professor and Director of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she directs a group of eight scientists studying the role of short telomeres in age-related disease, cancer, and the regulatory mechanism that maintain telomere length.
While working with Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, in 1984, Dr. Greider discovered telomerase, an enzyme key to the aging process and the growth of cancer cells. Dr. Greider characterized the loss of telomere function in mice, allowing for an understanding of human short telomere diseases such as bone marrow and other stem cell failure diseases. In 2009, Dr. Greider shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology of Medicine for her work on telomeres and telomerase.
PRIM&R is proud to recognize these women and the many others who continue to make significant contributions to research ethics.