Benjamin G Gregg

Benjamin G Gregg

  • Professor (Department of Government, College of Liberal Arts)

Faculty Profile: Benjamin G Gregg

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Benjamin Gregg


Professor of Government, College of Liberal Arts


B.A., Yale University; Ph.D., Princeton University; D. Phil., Freie Universität Berlin



2023 Visiting Researcher, Centre for Bioethics and Medical Humanities

Faculty of Medicine, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia


International Lecturer (Bioethics) in the Faculty of Medicine, Hasanuddin University, Makassar, Indonesia


2022 Visiting Researcher, Centre for Biomedical Ethics

National University of Singapore


2021-2022 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Public International Law

University of Lund, Sweden


Editorial Board, Politics and the Life Sciences



Publications: Over 70 sole-authored articles and 5 five books: The Human Rights State (2016); Human Rights as Social Construction (2012) [translation 作为社会建构的人权 in 2020 by 中国人民大学出版社]; Thick Moralities, Thin Politics (2003); and Coping in Politics with Indeterminate Norms (2003). Cambridge University Press published his newest book, Constructing Human Nature: The Political Challenges of Genetic Engineering, last October. His work has been translated into German, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese.


Teaching: Teaches social and political theory, including political bioethics and political AI-studies, informed by philosophy and sociology, at the University of Texas at Austin as well as occasionally in Germany (Frankfurt/O.), Austria (Linz and Innsbruck), Sweden (Lund), Japan (Tokyo and Hokkaido), China (Beijing), and Brazil (Goiãnia). The College of Liberal Arts Committees on Research and Teaching awarded him the Silver Spurs Fellowship in recognition of outstanding scholarship and teaching. He has conducted graduate master classes at the Universidade Federal de Goiás in Brazil, at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg in Germany, at the University of Hokkaido in Japan, and at the University of Glasgow in the UK.


Research: Current research agenda proceeds along several tracks that intersect at points: political bioethics; political challenges of artificial intelligence; and human rights as social science, not theology or metaphysics.


Manuscripts in Progress


Indigeneity as Social Construct and Political Tool: Critique of a Contested Concept for the 21stCentury (under review)

21st Century Indigenisms: Peoples, Corporations, Genetics, Artificial Intelligence (in draft)


Manuscripts in Conceptual Gestation


Bioethics for Indigenous Peoples in India (fieldwork 2024 and 2025)

AI's Responsibility to Our Species: Constructing Humankind's Political Future (fieldwork 2026 and 2027)


Grants: Has received grants, in 2024, for research on indigenous peoples in Jharkhand, India; in 2023, for establishing university-to-university-level collaboration with the Center for Bioethics, Faculty of Medicine, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; in 2023-25, from the National Science Foundation, for collaboration with laboratory scientists, on ethical issues of the new technology and how they may be addressed through new design features: “Building a Cell from Scratch: Design and Ethics”; in 2021/2022, as the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Public International Law at Lund University, Sweden; in 2022, as a visiting researcher at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore: “Might the Bioethical Principle of Individual Decisional Autonomy Have a Politically Liberalizing Effect on Soft Authoritarian Communities?”; in 2019, as a visiting researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights, Copenhagen: “Beyond Due Diligence: The Human Rights Corporation”; in 2018, as a visiting researcher at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and at the Ethox Centre, both University of Oxford: “Creating Human Nature: The Political Challenges of Genetic Engineering.” 


Courses for Spring 2024

View Course History

Professional Activities


October 23, 2024

“Governance and Regulation in the Construction of Synthetic Cells: Bioethical Challenges”

Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Academia Sinica, Shenzhen, China

First Synthetic Cell Global Summit: Building a Synthetic Cell Together

February 23, 2024

"The Governance Potential of the Human Genome as a Knowledge Commons: Unleashed through Mutual-Benefit Participatory Democracy"

King’s College London, UK

International Workshop on Governing Corporate Knowledge Commons, published by Cambridge University Press.


November 23, 2023

"A Right to Privacy versus a Right to Health"

Health Law and Genetics, Faculty of Law, University of Macau, China

Invited Lecture

November 16, 2023

“Bioethical Aspects of in vitro Fertilization”

Hasanuddin University, Makassar, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Keynote Lecture, Third Makassar Obstetrics and Gynecology Update