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Yale Bioethics

Primary Affiliated Faculty


David Smith
Senior Scholar in Theology & Medical Ethics
Senior Lecturer in Political Science
812-336-2429 (home)
The Poynter Center; 618 E. Third Street; Bloomington, IN, 47405


David Smith was Director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Bioethics Center from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2011.  He directed projects related to PTSD, research ethics, and care for the dying.  His edited collection, For the Love of God: Essays on Religion and Philanthropy, was published by the Indiana University Press in 2010. He continues on at the center and at the university as a Senior Scholar & Lecturer, teaching one of the most popular lecture courses on campus.

Before coming to Yale, Smith was a member of the faculty of the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University Bloomington from 1967 until his retirement in 2003. He won teaching awards twice, one voted by students and the other awarded by faculty. In the early 1970s more than 700 students were enrolled in his two courses in one semester.

In 1983 Smith became Director of the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions. During his twenty year tenure the Center received funding from the Lilly Endowment, the Exxon Educational Foundation, FIPSE, NIH, and NSF. Center projects focused on the teaching of ethics, care for the dying, research ethics, ethics and genetic testing, and corporate responsibility. In the 1980s and 1990s he wrote Health and Medicine in the Anglican Tradition and Entrusted: The Moral Responsibilities of Trustees; he was the first author of Early Warning: Cases and Ethical Guidance for Presymptomatic Testing in Genetic Diseases. More recently he was lead editor of A Christian Response to the New Genetics and Good Intentions: Moral Obstacles and Opportunities.

In 2003–4, immediately after his retirement from Indiana University, Smith served as Visiting Professor of Bioethics at Yale. From 2004 through 2006 he was Frederick Distinguished Visiting Professor of Ethics at DePauw University, where he helped start the Janet Prindle Institute of Ethics. His Partnership with the Dying, completed while at Yale in 2003–4, was published in 2005 by Rowman and Littlefield.

An active Episcopal layman, Smith and his wife, the former Marie-Louise Arnaud, have been married for 51 years; he is the father of three grown children and grandfather of five.

Curriculum Vitae