Humanities Building 420
Research and Teaching Interests: Bioethics, especially Cloning and Assisted Reproduction; emerging issues in Bioethics, such as Neuroethics, Enhancement, Ebola, and the Affordable Care Act
Office Hours: By appointment
- BA, College of William and Mary
- MA, New York University
- PhD, New York University
Gregory Pence studied applied ethics with Peter Singer at NYU and helped found the new field of bioethics. For 34 years he taught a required, graded course to 200 medical students at UAB. Between 1984-1985 he chaired the Board of Directors at Birmingham AIDS Outreach, and from 1985 to 1995 the UAB Speakers Committee.
He is known in bioethics for his best-selling Medical Ethics textbook, now in its 25th year and seventh edition, and his defense of humane biotechnology, such as cloning and genetically modified crops. In 2000 he testified against bills to criminalize cloning before Congress and before the California Senate. He then defended cloning on national television on the CBS Morning Show, Talk Back with Gretta Van Susteren, and CNN News with Wolf Blitzer. He has published over a hundred op-ed essays including ones in Newsweek, New York Times, Los Angles Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Wall Street Journal.
He coaches the UAB Ethics Bowl Team, which won the national championship in 2010, and the UAB Bioethics Bowl Team, which won national championships in 2011 and 2015. At UAB, he has won both the Ingalls and President's Teaching Awards. He Chairs the Philosophy Department and directs UAB the Early Medical School Acceptance Program. For fun, he runs 5K races, gardens, researches his ancestors, and tries to learn German. He has given over 10 endowed lectures in bioethics at universities across America and in Brazil, Switzerland, China, Norway, Israel, and England. Within the Ethics Bowl Team, two of his students have won Rhodes Scholarships, one won a Marshall Scholarship, several made USA Today’s All-America Academic Team, and three have won Fulbright Scholarships. Over 50 of his students have been awarded scholarships to medical school, including 3 to Harvard Medical School.
See Gregory Pence's interview with the New York Times: Retro Report on Cloning.
Listen to his interview on NPR about how the television show Orphan Black reflects and challenges dominant ideas in the debate on human cloning.
- Contemporary Moral Issues
- Writing and Thinking (Narrative Medicine)
- What We Talk About When We Talk About Clone Club: Bioethics and Philosophy in Orphan Black (Smart Pop, 2016).
- How to Build a Better Human: An Ethical Blueprint (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012; paperback, 2015).
- Medical Ethics: Accounts of Ground-Breaking Cases, 7th edition (McGraw-Hill, 2015).
- Pellegrino Medal for Scholarly Distinction in Bioethics, Samford University, 2008