Dr. Hughes' ambition in
his early twenties was to become a scholar of Buddhist political
thought. After a stint as a
of Buddhist scriptures,
however, this ambition was thwarted by a lack of talent in
Sanskrit, Pali and Japanese.
At the University of
Chicago, Dr. Hughes worked and taught at the U of C's
MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics
while completing his doctorate in medical sociology. During that
time Dr. Hughes also founded and edited the internationally
distributed zine, EcoSocialist Review, a publication
dedicated to encouraging dialogue between social justice
activists and ecological activists.
As a consultant to the
University of Chicago Hospital and the Midwest Business Group on
Health, and founder-editor of the international newsletter
Doctor-Patient Studies, Dr. Hughes developed a unique
perspective on systemic reform of health care organizations to
empower patients. His
examined the proposition that expert systems in the hands
well-organized and well-trained nurses, midwives and allied
health professionals may soon
supplant doctors in the practice of
As the 90s progressed Dr.
Hughes became increasingly distressed by the knee-jerk Luddism
of both the Left and bioethics, and began to develop his
pro-technology radical democratic perspective. This orientation
led to writings such as his 1994
Change with All Four Arms: A Post-Humanist Defense of Human
In 1998 Dr. Hughes started
a weekly half hour public affairs program on the politics of
future technologies. Under the the "nom de air" of "Dr. J.," Dr.
Hughes has interviewed hundreds of the leading thinkers and
activists in bioethics, politics and the sciences. In 2002 Dr.
Hughes also began publishing and distributing his
columns, primarily published in
Dr. Hughes also contributes
Cyborg Democracy blog.
Dr. J. is currently
Associate Director of Institutional Research and Planning at
in Hartford, where he teaches Health Policy, Drug Policy,
Infectious Disease Policy, and Research Methods in Trinity's
Graduate Public Policy Studies program.
From 2004-2006 Dr. Hughes
was served as the Executive Director of the
which he now serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors. In
2005 he co-founded the
Institute for Ethics
and Emerging Technologies
with the Oxford
philosopher Nick Bostrom, and has served the IEET since then as
Dr. Hughes is a Fellow of the World
Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American
Society of Bioethics and Humanities and the Working Group on
Ethics and Technology at Yale University. Dr. Hughes speaks on
medical ethics, health care policy and future studies worldwide,
and appears often on radio and television.
Other links of interest:
Rights of the Person Program