Our Values

The work of the Paul Ramsey Institute is driven by a vision of a truly human future and a mission to see it made real. We are grounded in the values and virtues present in Ramsey’s own work, which we hope to extend and apply to the emerging challenges of twenty-first century biotechnology and medicine.

We are committed to:

Human Dignity

We affirm the value, worth and dignity of every individual member of the human community and “the dignity of the human species as human, with its aspirations and possibilities for excellence and virtue, love and friendship, righteousness and holiness.” Here we follow Ramsey in his emphasis on caring for those at “the edges of life” and speaking for those “voiceless” among us.

Science and Technology

We advocate the progress of rigorous and fact-based science and the emergence of biotechnologies and medical therapies that honor human dignity, virtuous character, and the limits of the natural moral order that promise a truly human future.


We are an academic institute—focused on scholarship and inquiry, and yet ready to engage the public on these most urgent practical matters. We are concerned with scientific fact, serious moral reflection, and clear-headed policy. We are inspired by Ramsey’s prophetic moral imagination and joint emphasis on unrelenting reasonableness and compassionate charity.

Hippocratic Tradition

We honor the authority and guidance of the Hippocratic Oath and the ancient Greek tradition that established it, affirming its commitment—primum non nocere (first, do no harm)—to the preservation of virtuous medical practice.

Moral Covenant

We accept Ramsey’s invitation to a covenant between men—the covenant to practice medicine, biotechnology, and all other forms of science with fidelity to one another’s mutual dignity, and in so doing embody “a community of moral discourse.” This means working across vocational and partisan lines to secure meaningful dialogue and debate.

The Paul Ramsey Institute seeks to be a logical, strong, clear, and persuasive voice in current debates surrounding biosciences, technology, genetics, medicine, and related fields. This is possible only through the scholarship and research of qualified professionals in the sciences and humanities who have dedicated their lives and careers to moral scientific advance and rational ethical thought, for the service of humanity.

The Paul Ramsey Institute will support the continued research of such thinkers as Scholars and Fellows of the Institute. However, mere association with such minds is not enough to engage contemporary debate around such monumental and crucial matters. These minds must be given platform to publish, present, defend, and enact their work—for continued scholarship and for practical measures, both of which are necessary for ethical guidance of technology toward a truly human future.