Michael sandel headshot  photo by stephanie mitchell
Michael J. Sandel
BPCC Advisory Board

Michael J. Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he teaches political philosophy. His recent book, What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, takes up one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: What should be the role of money and markets in our society?

Sandel's writings have been translated into 27 languages.  His books include Liberalism and the Limits of Justice (Cambridge University Press, 1982, 2nd edition, 1998), Democracy's Discontent (Harvard University Press, 1996), Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics (Harvard University Press, 2005), The Case against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering (Harvard University Press, 2007), and Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009).

His legendary course "Justice" was the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on television.  It has been viewed by tens of millions of people around the world, including in China, where in 2010 Sandel was named the “most influential foreign figure of the year.”(China Newsweek)

A recipient of the Harvard-Radcliffe Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, Sandel was recognized by the American Political Science Association for a career of excellence in teaching.  He has been a visiting professor at the Sorbonne (Paris) and delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Oxford University, and in 2009 delivered the BBC Reith Lectures. 

In addition to his scholarly work, Sandel has promoted public engagement with philosophical questions.  In an experiment with new technology, Sandel recently created a video-linked “global classroom” with simultaneous participation by students in China, India, Japan, Brazil, and the U.S.  His public lectures around the world have packed such venues as St. Paul’s Cathedral (London), the Sydney Opera House (Australia), and an outdoor amphitheater in Seoul, S. Korea, where 14,000 people came to hear him speak.

From 2002 to 2005, Sandel served on the President's Council on Bioethics. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Board of Trustees of Brandeis University, the Board of Directors of the Institute for Human Sciences (Vienna), and the Council on Foreign Relations. A graduate of Brandeis University (1975), Sandel received his doctorate from Oxford University (D.Phil.,1981), where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

[Photo by Stephanie Mitchell]

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