Russell Powell

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Ph.D., Duke University; M.S., Duke University; J.D. New York University

Interests: Philosophy of biological and biomedical science; philosophical bioethics; philosophy of medicine; legal and political philosophy; philosophy of technology.

Click here for a copy of his C.V.

Russell Powell, Ph.D. J.D. M.S. is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Boston University. Prior to his appointment at BU, Dr. Powell was an Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellow in the Faculty of Philosophy, and a James Martin Research Fellow in the Institute for Science and Ethics, at Oxford University. Before his time at Oxford, Dr. Powell was a Greenwall Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy and a Senior Research Scholar in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University.

Dr. Powell holds advanced degrees in philosophy of science, evolutionary biology and law. He received his B.A. in philosophy (summa cum laude, phi beta kappa) from SUNY Binghamton (1999), his Juris Doctor (with honors) from NYU Law School (2002), and his Ph.D. in Philosophy and M.S. in Biology from Duke University (2009). Prior to commencing his graduate work in philosophy, then Mr. Powell, Esq. worked as an attorney (Associate) in the New York office of the global law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP, where he practiced complex pharmaceutical liability litigation.

As a result of this diverse background, Dr. Powell’s academic interests are wide-ranging and highly interdisciplinary. He has published in areas ranging from the philosophy of biology and bioethics to political and legal philosophy, in journals such as British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Journal of Philosophy, Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Biology and Philosophy, European Journal for the Philosophy of Science, American Journal of Bioethics, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Journal of Political Philosophy, and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. In addition to continuing work on conceptual and methodological problems in evolutionary theory, Dr. Powell actively researches and publishes on the epistemological and metaphysical dimensions of debates in contemporary bioethics, especially in relation to emerging biotechnologies.

Dr. Powell is currently serving as Guest Editor for two Special Journal Issues: One for Philosophy and Technology on genetic engineering, and one for Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Science on synthetic biology. He is also co-editing a book with Oxford University Press on scientific explanations of religion and religious conflict, and he is currently Associate Editor for the Journal of Medical Ethics, which is part of the British Medical Journal Group.

Dr. Powell was recently awarded a National Humanities Center fellowship in the Research Triangle, where he will be in residence from 2013-2014. In addition, he received an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship for the year of 2014. In 2011, Dr. Powell was selected for an American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow Award, which he declined in order to take up his present position at BU.