Annual George W. Gay Lecture in Medical Ethics

Eric Topol, MD, delivered the 2020 George W. Gay Lecture in Medical Ethics, "How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Health Care Human Again,"  on November 12.

If you missed the event, you can see a recording of the lecture on the Center for Bioethics YouTube page.

Eric Topol, MD, Executive Vice President, Scripps Research Director & Founder, Scripps Research Translational Institute
Eric Topol, MD
Executive Vice President, Scripps Research
Director & Founder, Scripps Research Translational Institute

Eric Topol, MD, is the founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, professor of molecular medicine, and executive vice president of Scripps Research. As a researcher, he has published over 1,200 peer-reviewed articles, with more than 280,000 citations, elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and is one of the top ten most cited researchers in medicine. His principal scientific focus has been on the genomic and digital tools to individualize medicine.

In 2016, Topol was awarded a $207 million grant from the NIH to lead a significant part of the Precision Medicine (All of Us) Initiative, a prospective research program enrolling 1 million participants in the U.S. This is in addition to his role as principal investigator for a flagship $35 million NIH grant to promote innovation in medicine. He was the founder of a new medical school at Cleveland Clinic, Lerner College of Medicine, with Case Western University. He has over 300,000 followers on Twitter (@EricTopol) where recently he has been reporting insights and research findings for COVID-19. Besides editing several textbooks, he has published three bestseller books on the future of medicine: The Creative Destruction of Medicine, The Patient Will See You Now, and Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again. Lastly, Topol was commissioned by the UK 2018-2019 to lead planning for the National Health Service's integration of AI and new technologies.

The George W. Gay Lecture:

Is the oldest endowed lectureship at Harvard Medical School, and quite possibly the oldest medical ethics lectureship in the United States. The lectureship was established in 1917 by a $1,000 gift from Dr. George Washington Gay, an 1868 graduate of HMS. Gay gave Harvard the fund to provide an annual income to support lectures “to the advanced, or graduating classes in the Medical School upon Medical Ethics, and upon wise and proper methods of conducting the business of physicians, as relates to fees, collections, investments, etc.” The Gay Lectureship perpetuates his deep concern for the welfare of his patients and his appreciation of the constantly arising social and economic forces that impinge on medical care.

Since its inception, many of the nation's most influential physicians, scientists, researchers and social observers, have given the annual lecture. Past lecturers include Erich Fromm, Felix Frankfurter, Margaret Mead, Elizabeth Kübler Ross, E.O. Wilson, and Joshua Lederberg have given the Gay Lecture. Elie Wiesel, Marian Wright Edelman, Paul Krugman, Nicholas Kristof, and Donald Berwick.

See details and video of the 2019 Gay Lecture delivered by Danielle Allen. Visit our YouTube channel to see a video of her lecture.
See details and photos from the 2018 Gay Lecture delivered by K. Anthony Appiah.
See details and photos from the 2017 Gay Lecture delivered Michael Sandel.

Past George W. Gay Lecturers
2019 Danielle Allen, PhD, James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, and Director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics
2018 Kwame Anthony Appiah, Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor Of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University
2017 Michael Sandel, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government Theory, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University
2016 Martha Minnow, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
2015 Amy Gutmann, President, University of Pennsylvania
2014 Cass R. Sunstein, JD, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard Law School
2013 Dan W. Brock, Ph.D., Frances Glessner Lee Professor of Medical Ethics, HMS
2012 Donald M. Berwick, M.D., M.P.P., F.R.C.P., Former Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
2010 Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times op-ed columnist, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner
2009 Paul R. Krugman, Ph.D., Professor of Economics and International Affairs, Princeton University
2008 Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D., President of the Institute of Medicine
2006 Paul Farmer, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder, Partners in Health
2005 Jerome P. Kassirer, M.D., Editor-in-Chief, EmeritusNew England Journal of Medicine
2004 Howard Gardner, Ph.D., Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
2002 Rashi Fein, Ph.D., Professor of The Economics of Medicine, Emeritus, HMS
2001 Dame Cicely Saunders, St. Christopher’s Hospice, London
1999 Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President, The Children’s Defense Fund
1998 Elie Wiesel, Mellon Professor of The Humanities, Boston University
1998 Daniel D. Federman, M.D., Dean for Medical Education, Harvard Medical School
1997 Daniel Callahan, Ph.D., Founder, The Hastings Center
1996 Sissela Bok, Ph.D., Fellow, Harvard Center for Population and Development
1995 Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Ph.D. Chair, Afro-American Studies Dept., Harvard Univ.
1994 Robert Lawrence, M.D., Director, Health Sciences, Rockefeller Foundation
1993 Bernadine Healy, M.D., Director, National Institutes of Health
1992 Larry R. Churchill, Chair, Social Medicine, Univ. N. Carolina School of Med.
1991 Arnold S. Relman, M.D., Prof. of Medicine, HMS; Editor, NEJM
1988 Albert Jonsen, Ph.D., Chair, Medical History and Ethics, Univ. of Washington
1987 Dennis Thompson, Ph.D., Dir. Pgm. in Ethics and Professions, Harvard Univ.
1986 Baroness Mary Warnock, Mistress, Girton College, Cambridge, England
1985 Dr. Julian Tudor Hart, Glyncorrwg Health Center, West Galmorgan, Wales
1984 Uwe E. Reinhardt, Ph.D., Prof. Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton Univ.
1983 Joshua Lederberg, Ph.D., President, The Rockefeller University
1982 The Rev. Robert F. Drinan, SJ, U.S. Congress; Georgetown Univ. Law Ctr.
1981 Arnold S. Relman, M.D., Prof. of Medicine, HMS; Editor, NEJM
1980 Dr. Edward O. Wilson, Professor of Science, Harvard University
1979 Dr. Carleton B. Chapman, President, The Commonwealth Fund
1978 Dr. Kenneth J. Ryan, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Harvard Univ.
1977 Dr. Franz J. Ingelfinger, Editor, New England Journal of Medicine
1976 Dr. Robert J. Lifton, Foundations Fund of Research, Yale University
1973 Dr. Elizabeth Kübler Ross, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Univ. of Chicago
1970 Dr. I Bernard Cohen, Professor of The History of Science, Harvard University
1965 Dr. Paul Freund, Carl M. Loeb University Professor, Harvard University
1963 Dr. Herman Ludwig Blumgart, Prof. of Medicine, Emeritus, Harvard University
1962 Mr. Erik Erikson, Prof. of Human Development, Lecturer Psych., Harvard Univ.
1961 Dr. Ralph Johnson Bunche, Under Secretary for Special Political Affairs, U.N.
1960 Dr. Margaret Mead, Adjunct Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University
1959 Dr. James Howard Means, Professor of Medicine, Emeritus, Harvard University
1958 The Honorable Felix Frankfurter, Associate Justice, US Supreme Court
1957 Dr. Erich Fromm, Professor of Psychoanalysis, National University of Mexico
1956 The Rev. Douglas Horton, Professor of Theology, Harvard University
1955 The Rev. George A. Buttrick, Professor of Christian Morals, Harvard University
1954 Dr. Hugh J. Morgan, Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University
1945 Mr. Ben Amers Williams, Author
1941 Dr. Charles R. Austrian, Assoc. Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University
Dr. David Cheever, Associate Professor of Surgery, Emeritus, Harvard University
Dr. T. Grier Miller, Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
1940 Mr. Phillips Ketchum, Partner, Herrick, Smith, Donald, Farley & Ketchum
1939 Dr. Eliot Wadsworth, President, Boston Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Robert L. DeNormandie, Comm. on Ethics & Discipline, Mass. Med. Soc.
Dr. Donald Guthrie, Assoc. Prof. of Surgery, Univ. of Penn. School of Med.
1938 Mr. Henry L. Shattuck, Treasurer, Harvard University
Dr. Reginald Fitz, Lecturer on The History of Medicine, Harvard University
Dr. Elton Mayo, Professor of Industrial Research, Harvard University
1937 Dr. Lawrence K. Lunt, Psychiatrist (Boston, Massachusetts)
Dr. O.H. Perry Pepper, Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
1935 Dr. James B. Herrick, Professor of Medicine, Emeritus, Rush Medical College
1934 Dr. Arthur H. Ruggles, Superintendent, Butler Hospital, Providence, RI
Dr. John Homans, Clinical Professor of Surgery, Harvard University
Dr. Joseph H. Pratt, Professor of Clinical Medicine, Tufts College
1933 Dr. Robert B. Osgood, Professor Orthopedic Surgery, Harvard University
Dr. Elliott P. Joslin, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard University
1932 Dr. Roger I. Lee, Professor of Hygiene, Harvard University
1931 Dr. John M. Birnie, Secretary, New England Medical Society
1930 Dr. Samuel B. Woodward, past President, Massachusetts Medical Society
1927 Dr. Francis Weld Peabody, Professor of Medicine, Harvard University
1926 Dr. George G. Sears, Clinical Prof. of Medicine, Emeritus, Harvard University
1924 Dr. Walter P. Bowers, Managing Editor, Boston Medical and Surgical Journal
1923 Dr. George W. Gay
1922 Dr. John Bapst Blake, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard University