Carl Elliott

Carl Elliott

Fellow: Awarded 2018
Field of Study: Medicine and Health

Competition: US & Canada

Carl Elliott is a professor in the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Philosophy and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. During his Guggenheim Fellowship term, Elliott will be working on a book with the tentative title of Lonesome Whistle: Exposing Wrongdoing in Medical Research. In many of medicine’s most notorious research scandals, doctors and other medical insiders have stayed silent for years, even when they have seen research subjects being shamefully mistreated. In the few cases where insiders have exposed wrongdoing, the result has often been professional vilification. Elliott will look at research scandals exposed by whistleblowers in four different countries in order to explore the institutional forces that discourage conscientious dissenters from speaking out. The project is an outgrowth of Elliott’s efforts to press for an external investigation of psychiatric research misconduct at the University of Minnesota, which in 2015 was forced to suspend psychiatric drug studies and reform its research oversight system.

Much of Elliott’s scholarship explores philosophical issues surrounding identity, authenticity and justice through the lens of biomedical technology. Elliott is a graduate of Davidson College, the Medical University of South Carolina, and Glasgow University in Scotland, where he received a PhD in philosophy. He held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Chicago, the University of Otago in New Zealand, and the University of Natal Medical School in South Africa (now the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine at the University of KwaZulu Natal.) Before moving to the University of Minnesota, he taught at McGill University in Montreal. Elliott is the author or editor of seven books, including White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine and Better than Well: American Medicine Meets the American Dream. His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, Mother Jones, The American Scholar and The New England Journal of Medicine.

Elliott is a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, a Fellow of the Hastings Center, and a recipient of the Pellegrino Medal in Bioethics and the Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media. He has been a William Evans Visiting Fellow at the University of Otago, an International Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, and a Network Fellow at the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.

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