Collection Development Statement

Last updated June 2020


Bioethics is a minor, offered through the Philosophy Department. It is not a department or major, but the subject appears in several areas across the university.

The collection supports:

  • Courses at all levels throughout JHU which involve aspects of Bioethics; for example, in Public Health, Philosophy, Expository Writing, and AAP programs such as the MS in Food Safety
  • An Engineering ethics course in Whiting entitled Engineering Solutions in a Global, Economic, Environmental, and Societal Context, which includes healthcare
  • JHU School of Medicine’s Genes to Society curriculum

Departments/disciplines/programs subject areas supported

In addition to those mentioned above, Berman Institute of Bioethics on the East Baltimore campus offers a master’s degree, a PhD in Bioethics and Health Policy, and postdoctoral fellowships both general and with specific focuses such as Ethics and Infectious Disease, Philosophy and Mental Disorder, and Ethics and Regulatory Aspects of Pragmatic Clinical Trials. It also offers online programs as well as a mentorship program for undergrads in Genomics and Society.

This collection supports all patron groups from freshmen through research faculty.

It is not MSEL’s primary job to support programs on other campuses; however, this collection is used at Homewood as well as across the university.

Because this collection is itself supported by materials in medicine, humanities, and social sciences, the selector buys only a few Bioethics materials – the focus is on introductory or general texts, and books about significant subfields such as human subjects in research around the world, and about emerging subfields such as genomics and ancestry.

Main call number: R724

Formats Collected

There is a preference for online resources.

Preferred formats:

  • Journals
  • Textbooks and monographs

Material acquired by request or selectively:

  • Handbooks
  • Textbooks

Material not collected:

  • Ephemera
  • Biographies
  • Histories
  • Workbooks
  • Pamphlets
  • Manuscripts

Languages Collected


Chronological or geographical focus

Emphasis is on current and recent scholarship. All geographies and peoples are included; e.g. Bioethics in given religions or countries


Because of the selector’s PhD in the field, there is more awareness and collaboration with others in the field (such as faculty and students at Berman) than would otherwise be expected.

Subject Librarian

Sue Vazakas