Hastings president Mildred Solomon

Supporting New Impact Fund for Bioethics

Donaghue has recently committed $800,000 over five years to The Hastings Center to develop and implement greater capacity to engage public officials, opinion leaders, and the broader public in the most pressing ethical issues of our time.

The Hastings Center is an independent bioethics research institute located in Garrison, New York. For the past fifty years, The Hastings Center has conducted original research in a wide array of topics that support deliberation on two broad foci —the delivery of just and compassionate health care across the life span and the wise use of emerging technologies.

The purpose of the Donaghue award is to produce, disseminate, and enable the uptake of guidance about sound health and science policy for scholars, policymakers, members of the public, and for key intermediaries such as journalists and physicians. To achieve this, The Hastings Center is expanding its research portfolio to address urgent ethical questions arising in contemporary science and health policy and will transform its capacity to reach and influence a far broader audience, ensuring both wider dissemination of Hastings’ ideas as well as their uptake into practice and policy by policymakers, professionals and the public.

Although its work is published in leading peer-reviewed publications, including its own two journals, The Hastings Center recognizes that these dissemination avenues have a limited ability to engage policymakers and the public. The new Impact Fund will allow for additional avenues, including both online and public events, that are specifically designed for those in the vanguard of deciding how best to deploy new biotechnologies, ensure fair access to their benefits, and minimize their potential harms. An example of a recent event to spur such a discussion is the Center’s collaboration with the New York Academy of Sciences and the Aspen Brain Institute on the potential of human enhancement technologies; it had a sold-out registration of 300 attendees and has had more than 800 views of the archived livestream.

The Impact Fund will also enable the Center to augment its interaction with journalists and the public. Currently, articles by The Hastings Center scholars appear in major national media outlets, and the Center’s work is featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, radio shows, and other broadcast media each year. Working with communication experts, the Center seeks to significantly expand the number of readers, viewers, listeners who come into contact with Hastings ideas.

In expressing the board’s and staff’s appreciation, Hastings president Mildred Solomon said: “The Donaghue Foundation has long been committed to ensuring that science makes a positive difference in people’s lives. Its generous gift will enable The Hastings Center to deepen its reach and its impact, so that our scholars’ ideas can more effectively transform both practice and policy in medicine and in science. We are deeply appreciative of the new opportunities that will now open up for ensuring that new biomedical technologies and new forms of care across the lifespan create lasting benefits for all segments of society.”