Stephanie J. Bird
Online Ethics Center: Stephanie J. Bird, Biographical Sketch
onlineethics.orgThe Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science
Stephanie J. Bird, PH.D
Dr. Stephanie J. Bird is Special Assistant to the Provost of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she works on the development of educational programs that address ethical issues in science and the professional responsibilities of scientists.
Current research interests emphasize the ethical, legal and social policy implications of scientific research, especially in the area of neuroscience.
Dr. Bird is a laboratory-trained neuroscientist whose graduate work at yale and post-doctoral fellowships at Johns Hopkins and Case Western Reserve University dealtwiththe effects of psychoactive substances on brain function.
theoretical and laboratory is complemented by work in areas of ethical and legal philosophy.
Graduate and Post-doctoral work in a wide range of specialties within the field of neuroscience were supplemented with three years as a Staff Scientist at the Neurosciences Research Program (NRP), a conceptual research center formerly affiliated with MIT
She holds a B.A. in Philosophy, as well as Zoology, and in 1984 was a Visiting Scholar at the Hastings Center Institute of Society, Ethics and the Life Sciences.
In 1982, Dr. Bird
was awarded a Mellon Fellowship by the Science, Technology, and Society Program of MIT
to examine the ethical and social policy ramifications of the application of recombinant DNA technology to health care.
This was followed by successful application to the NSF Ethics and Values in Science and Technology Program for an Individual Award entitled "Ethical Issues for Research on Biological Factors Affecting the Capacity for Responsible Behavior".
Recent research has examined scientific issues associated with setting regulatory standards for exposure to neurotoxins, and ethical concerns associated with screening tests for a variety of hereditary and biological conditions, and psychoactive substances.
Dr. Bird teaches in her areas of expertise at M.I.T. including both courses designed to examine various aspects of the responsible conduct of research, and those that consider the ethical and social policy implications of technology.
In 1990 and 1991, Dr. Bird served as President of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), a national organization with 5000 members and over 80 chapters across the country.
She was Principal Investigator and Project Director of the first AWIS Mentoring Project, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Through this program, AWIS chapters developed and expanded a wide-range of mentoring activities designed to encourage and support undergraduate and graduate students in their pursuit of careers in math, science and technology.
As part of the AWIS Mentoring Project
, AWIS published
A Hand Up: Women Mentoring Women in Science
and Mentoring Means Future Scientists.
was selected as one of the first AWIS Fellows.
Dr. Bird is an active member of the Society for Neuroscience having served on both the Public Information Committee and the Social Issues Committee where, in 1983, she initiated the annual Social Issues Roundtable that examines ethical and policy ramifications of various aspects of neuroscience research.
She is an active member and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and is Secretary of Section X - Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering.
She is also a member of the AAAS Council and a member of the Committee on Council Affairs.
She was active in the Council of Scientific Society Presidents where, as a member of the Ethics in Science Committee, she headed a project dealing with the professional codes of scientific societies.
also serves on Tufts Diversity's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
Bird is co-editor of the journal Science and Engineering Ethics.
is a nationally-known speaker, giving talks and workshops at professional societies, medical schools and research and teaching institutions across the country on teaching research ethics, on various aspects of professional standards and ethical values in science, and on mentoring.