Philosophy professor recognized for medical-ethics research

Robert CardRobert Card, an associate professor of philosophy and a specialist in biomedical ethics, will receive the SUNY Oswego President’s Award for Scholarly and Creative Activity at this year’s Research and Scholarly Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 24.

The ceremony is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. in the Campus Center auditorium.

Since arriving at Oswego in 2002, Card has edited a textbook, “Critically Thinking About Medical Ethics,” published by Prentice Hall, and written 18 articles in scholarly journals such as the American Journal of Bioethics and Public Affairs Quarterly. He is a fellow in clinical ethics at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

“Rob Card is an outstanding researcher in philosophy, with a prominent profile in the subfield of ethics,” said Jean Chambers, chair of the philosophy department, in nominating him for the award. “His theoretical and applied papers and articles, as well as his consulting on medical ethical issues, are highly respected by his peers.”

Chambers noted that prominent forums for philosophical debate have selected Card’s work for other philosophers to discuss. One of his theoretical papers was the subject of a colloquium series at the Central Meeting of the American Philosophical Association.

His piece on the ethical issues surrounding emergency contraception was the leading article in an issue of the American Journal of Bioethics, with 13 other scholars invited to respond to his position.

“To have one’s ideas recognized by colleagues in this way in a top journal in one’s specialty is a sign of excellence,” Chambers said. In addition, the article is included in the Hastings Center’s “Bioethics Briefing Book” for health care professionals.

Four of his articles are cited in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy—“an undeniable indication of Card’s excellent and growing professional reputation,” noted Charles Echelbarger, a colleague in the philosophy department.

Jane Greenlaw, co-director of the Center for Ethics, Humanities and Palliative Care at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and others commended Card for applying his philosophical training to real-world issues.

Her team “was impressed with Card’s ability to come from a pure philosophical background and translate his work to a level having significance for practicing clinicians. Those of us in the clinical ethics field recognize what a gift that is,” Greenlaw said.

Echelbarger agreed: “Traditionally, academic philosophers work on topics that are not directly concerned with issues and problems of everyday human life. In his case, he has worked extensively on applying ethical theories to issues and problems that arise in the contexts of health care, medicine and business. In my opinion, this sort of work is vitally important.”

Locally, Card serves on the ethics committee of the Manor at Seneca Hill Nursing Home.

He earned his doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin in 1997 and taught at McGill University, the University of Vermont and Ferris State University before coming to Oswego.

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(Posted: Apr 16, 2009)

Tags: research news: faculty honors