Founded in 1992 in San Francisco, California, The Center for Ethical Bionics was created in response to unrestrained, unchecked growth reported within the rapidly expanding field of bionics. Deeply concerned about the possibility of biomechanical clones, DNA alteration, and the creation of biomechanical humans, many in the scientific community feared these experiments could result in irrevocable damage to humankind. Rumors of the creation of a top-secret, biomachine only heightened the need for immediate action.
Led by Dr. Steven Caldwell (who would serve as the organization's first chairman), The Center for Ethical Bionics began as a haphazard group of top research scientists and medical doctors. As their influence quietly grew, The Center garnered attention from key humanitarian benefactors, including a multi-million dollar donation from The Watson Foundation in 1994.
Since that date, The Center for Ethical Bionics has grown exponentially. Currently, more than 1,300 employees provide ethical counsel and bio-moral recommendations to hundreds of international research teams. The Center also funds much-needed seminars and scholarships, including the prestigious Norcliffe Award (given annually to an individual who exemplifies the positive benefits of controlled cybernetics).
An incredible prodigy in the field of molecular biology, Dr. Caldwell received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins University at the age of 23. He graduated magna cum laude, and was elected to the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha society, an honor reserved for the top fifteen percent of graduating medical students in the United States. He followed this achievement with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Brown University.
After several years at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Dr. Caldwell joined The MacLaren Foundation—a New York think tank dedicated to breakthrough research in the fields of bionics and cybernetics. It was here that he began to truly explore his love of nanotechnology. His expertise in nervous system replication led to numerous breakthroughs in the field.
While working on an article for the New American Journal of Science ('The Strength of the Hybrid Human: A Study in Ethical Evolution') Dr. Caldwell became concerned by what he saw as a growing problem in bionics—the lack of regard for ethical science. Determined to make a difference, he founded The Center for Ethical Bionics in 1992.
Currently serving as the Chairman and the public face of The Center, Dr. Caldwell has shared his expertise in ethical bionics by speaking to the United States Congress, the United Nations, and the National Medical Association. In 2006, he was the keynote speaker at IEEE's International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics.
Married to Sarah in 1972 and the father of two sons, Dr. Caldwell's personal interests include ballroom dancing and reading science fiction.
With an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in Genetics from Duke University, Dr. Scanlon's initial work focused on protein replication within the human body. Following several years of research with the Department of Energy's Human Genome Project, she eventually shifted her focus toward the use of genetic manipulation in contemporary cybernetics.
As an early advocate of Dr. Caldwell, she proved instrumental in the rapid growth of The Center for Ethical Bionics. She worked tirelessly to achieve funding, recruit new talent and raise awareness for the fledgling Center, while also continuing her groundbreaking work as a geneticist.
Dr. Scanlon currently spends her time in the research and development lab at The Center's San Francisco headquarters. She has recently begun focusing her talents on bionic gene therapy, a process where Computerized Nucleic Acid (or CNA) is inserted into an abnormal, disease-causing gene. The CNA then acts as a carrier, genetically altering the diseased cells and delivering therapeutic materials to healthy ones.
Married to Mike since 1997, Dr. Scanlon repeatedly quotes Georg Lichtenberg to her three children: 'One's first step in wisdom is to question everything-and one's last is to come to terms with everything.
Upon graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard with a degree in philosophy, Dr. McCarthy became interested in the impact of science fiction television on human acceptance of bionics. She resumed her studies at the renowned Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, where she received her doctorate and went on to shape genetic policy decisions through her work at the Genetics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. It was here that she met Dr. Caldwell, who convinced her to join The Center as an Ethicist in 1993.
At heart, Dr. McCarthy remains a philosopher. She conducts regular analyses of genetic research, examining the vital link between a scientist's willingness to break ground in bionics and his perception of moral behavior. Her laboratory tests are typically conducted in tandem with top psychologists.
In her role as Chief Ethicist, Dr. McCarthy incorporates new research into The Center's annual publication 'Principles of Bionics.' She is also responsible for the interpretation and dissemination of these standards, which are meant to guide universal ethical behavior within the field of bionics.
Dr. McCarthy is often recognized as the creator of the phrase 'bio-morals,' a term that describes the set of ethical principles used in bionics and biomechanical engineering.
A Stanford graduate with a Ph.D in Computer Science and Mathematics, Dr. Baker was recruited for military intelligence work in the United States Army. After only a few months in Germany, he was moved to the Special Projects Office of the U.S. Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Washington, D.C. Although much of the research completed during his 23-year tenure remains classified, it is known that it played a key role in the creation of the world's first bionic hand.
Growing skeptical of combining bionics and national defense capabilities, Dr. Baker moved to California to assist Dr. Caldwell in his effort to jumpstart The Center for Ethical Bionics. His current research, which is funded by a grant from The Maybrook Institute, incorporates the replication of a computerized nervous system within the human body.
For his work in bionics, Dr. Baker has received numerous prestigious awards, including: The Telos Award for Molecular Engineering, The Bionic Freedom Award from the Smithsonian Institution, and The Madoo Prize for Ethics.
In his free time, Dr. Baker enjoys surfing and running with his German Shepherd, Einstein.