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Jonathan H. Marks

by SKeira Aug 21, 2018
Jonathan H. Marks

Associate Professor of Bioethics, Humanities, Law, and Philosophy

Director of the Bioethics Program

Affiliate Law Faculty

Department of Philosophy

College of the Liberal Arts

205 Sparks Building
University Park, PA 16802

Office Phone: (814) 865-5938


Jonathan H. Marks leads a collaborative research project exploring the ethical and policy implications of industry-sponsored research on food and health, and of industry participation in the development and implementation of health policy (including obesity policy). Marks co-organized—with Donald B. Thompson, emeritus professor of food science at Penn State—an exploratory workshop and, in 2012, a symposium on the ethical and policy implications of industry-sponsored research on the purported health benefits of foods and ingredients.  This symposium was held at Penn State with support from the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard, where Marks is currently a network fellow.

Marks spent 2009–2011 in residence at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard and, prior to joining Penn State, he was a Greenwall Fellow in Bioethics and Health Policy at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities.  He received his M.A., B.C.L. (equivalent to J.D., LL.M.) from the University of Oxford.  Marks is also a barrister and academic member of Matrix Chambers, London. While in full time legal practice, he was involved in a number of landmark cases including the Pinochet case and the Olivieri case—the latter arising from a dispute between a physician-researcher and the industry sponsor of her clinical trials. 

Marks has published widely on the intersections of law, ethics, and policy, and his work has appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Law and Medicine, American Journal of Bioethics, and the Hastings Center Report (among others). He has also authored or co-authored op-eds for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Times (London). He has published several pieces on the role of health professionals in detention and interrogation in the “war on terror” and, more broadly, on the relationships between professional ethics and human rights, and between neuroscience and national security. Much of this work draws on his background in international law.

As director of the Bioethics Program, Marks developed Penn State’s novel dual-title Ph.D. program in bioethics, which requires students to combine bioethics with one of a number of other disciplines in their dissertation. The program currently offers Ph.D.’s in anthropology and bioethics; biobehavioral health and bioethics; communication arts and sciences, and bioethics; and nursing and bioethics.  Additional doctoral degrees will be added in the near future.

For further information and to download sample publications, please click here.

Research Interests:

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Food Ethics:
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The Ethics of Industry-Academy Relations:
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Institutional Corruption: