Professor of Law
Professor of Philosophy
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 principle 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 Forum, Aspen Ideas Festival, TED, 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.