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L. Syd M Johnson

Syd-web-photo.jpgL. Syd M Johnson, PhD is a philosopher/bioethicist/neuroethicist, and Associate Professor of Bioethics and Humanities. She has a BA in Film from Bard College, and an MA and PhD in Philosophy from University at Albany, State University of New York. Dr. Johnson is a member of the National Institutes of Health BRAIN Initiative Neuroethics Working Group, and an associate editor for the journal Neuroethics.

Dr. Johnson teaches Clinical Bioethics, Patients to Populations: Ethics, Law and Population Health, and Health Care Ethics.

Her current research in neuroethics focuses on ethical issues related to brain injuries, including sport-related neurotrauma, brain death, and disorders of consciousness. Her work is situated at the intersection of ethics, medicine, and law, and she has published on disorders of consciousness, sport-related concussion and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, reproductive ethics, research ethics, and animal ethics. Her interest in all things with brains/minds includes every kind of critter, zombies, and robots.

Dr. Johnson may be reached by phoning 315.464.8451 or by email at JohnsoLs@upstate.edu.

Dr. Johnson's current current CV.

Selected Publications

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2022. Johnson, LSMThe Ethics of Uncertainty Entangled Ethical and Epistemic Risks in Disorders of Consciousness.New York: Oxford 

2020.  Johnson, LSM., Fenton, A, Shriver, A. (eds). Neuroethics and Nonhuman Animals. Switzerland: Springer.

2019.   Andrews, K., Comstock, G., Crozier, GKD., Donaldson, S., Fenton, A., John, T.,  Johnson, LSM.,  Jones, RC., Kymlicka, W., Meynell, L., Nobis, N., Peña-Guzman, D., Sebo, J. Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosopher’s Brief. New York: Routledge.

2018.   Johnson, LSM., Rommelfanger, KS. (eds), Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics. New York: Routledge.


Book Chapters:

2020. Johnson, LSM. Introduction to Animal Neuroethics: What and Why? In LSM Johnson, A Fenton, A Shriver (eds). Neuroethics and Nonhuman Animals. Switzerland: Springer

2020.   Johnson, LSM. The Trouble with Animal Models in Brain Research. In Johnson, Fenton, Shriver (eds), Neuroethics and Nonhuman Animals. Switzerland: Springer.

2019.   Johnson, LSM. The Transformer: Approaching the Assisted Death of Animals and Humans with Epistemic Humility and Uncertainty. In B. Donaldson & A.H. King (eds), Feeling Animal Death: Being Host to Ghosts. London: Rowman & Littlefield International.

2018.   Johnson, LSM. Prenatal and Neonatal Neuroethics: The moral significance of painience. In L.S.M. Johnson & K.S. Rommelfanger (eds), Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics. New York: Routledge.

2016.   Johnson, LSM. When hypothetical vulnerability becomes actual: Research participation and the autonomy of pregnant women. In F. Baylis & A. Ballantyne (eds), Clinical Research Involving Pregnant Women. Springer.

2016.   Johnson, LSM. Moving beyond end-of-life: the ethics of disorders of consciousness in an age of discovery and uncertainty. In M. Monti & W. Sannita (eds), Brain function and responsiveness in disorders of consciousness. Springer.

2016.   Johnson, LSM. Reproductive Technologies. In C.M. Klugman (ed). Philosophy: Medical Ethics. Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Philosophy series. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA.


Journal Articles:

2020. Johnson, LSM. The road not mapped: The neuroethics roadmap on research with nonhuman primates. AJOB Neuroscience 2020; 11(3): 176-183.

2020. Johnson, LSM. Restoring trust and requiring consent in death by neurological criteria. AJOB 2020 20(6): 33-35

2020. Johnson, LSM and K. Cerminara. All Things Considered: Surrogate Decision-making on Behalf of Patients in the MCS. Clinical Ethics 2020; doi 10.1177/1477750920927177

2019. Johnson, LSM. Neuroethics of the Nonhuman. AJOB Neurosci 2019;10(3):111-113. doi: 10.1080/21507740.2019.1632973.

2019.   Ferdowsian, H., Johnson, LSM., Johnson, J., Fenton, A., Shriver, A., and Gluck, J. A Belmont Report for animals?. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics  2019; doi: 10.1017/S0963180119001130. [Epub ahead of print]

2019.   Ramos, K., Grady, C., Greely, HT., Chiong, W., Eberwine, J., Farahany, N., Johnson, LSM., Hyman, BT., Hyman, SE., Rommelfanger, KS., Serrano, E., Churchill, J., Gordon, J., and Koroshetz, WJ.  The NIH BRAIN Initiative: Integrating Neuroethics and Neuroscience. Neuron 2019; 101(3): P394-398.

2018.   Greely, H., Grady, C., Ramos, K., Chiong, W., Eberwine, J. Farahany, N., Johnson, LSM, Hyman, B., Hyman, S., Rommelfanger, K.S., and Serrano, E., The Neuroethics Working Group. Neuroethics Guiding Principles for the NIH BRAIN Initiative. The Journal of Neuroscience 2018; 38(50): 10586-10588.

2018.   Global Neuroethics Summit Delegates, et al. Neuroethics Questions to Guide Ethical Research in the International Brain Initiatives. Neuron 2018; 100: doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2018.09.021

2018.   Johnson, LSM., Lazaridis, C. The sources of uncertainty in disorders of consciousness. AJOB Neuroscience 2018; 9(2): 76-82.

2017.   Johnson, LSM. Death by neurological criteria: Expert definitions and lay misgivings. QJM: An International Journal of Medicine 2017; 110(5): 267-270.

2016.   Johnson, LSM. Inference and inductive risk in disorders of consciousness. AJOB Neuroscience 2016; 7(1): 35-43.

2016.   Johnson, LSM. The case for reasonable accommodation of conscientious objections to declarations of brain death. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 2016; 13(1): 105-115.

2015.   Johnson, LSM. Sport-related neurotrauma and neuroprotection: Are Return-to-play protocols justified by paternalism? Neuroethics 2015; 8(1):15-26.