Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

The Kids Are All Right

Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

The Kids Are All Right

Article excerpt

We announced at the start of the year that we intended to commemorate our fortieth year of publication by looking to the next forty years. In a call for papers in the January-February issue, we asked what bioethics should do next, and we asked the people who would be leading the effort, the incoming generation of scholars, to tell us, in the form of a 1,600-word essay. We intended to publish the two or three essays we liked best in the November-December issue.

The response caught us off guard. We guessed we might receive seventy or eighty essays, but we ended up with close to two hundred. We were also surprised by the high quality of the essays. Frankly, we expected to be able to quickly eliminate most of the essays submitted, but we found--both to our delight and to our dismay!--that this was not possible. This is a lovely problem, but it made the process of picking those we'd like to publish extremely difficult.

Also, our selection criteria were not straightforward, which made the process yet more arduous. We ended up judging the essays by the importance of the proposal (in our estimation), its originality, and the quality of writing (using the Reports standards, which favor scholarly but very accessible writing). We also wanted to represent the range of essayists who took up our challenge--undergraduates, graduates, fellows, untenured professors, clinicians, and other people early in their careers. Finally, we decided we wanted to represent the range of proposals, giving extra weight to issues that appeared in one form or another in many essays but also trying to avoid repetition. …

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