John H. Evans is the Tata Chancellor’s Chair in Social Sciences, Professor of Sociology, Associate Dean of Social Sciences and Co-Director of the Institute for Practical Ethics at the University of California, San Diego. He has been a visiting member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, a post-doctoral fellow at Yale University and has held visiting professorial fellowships or honorary professorships at the Universities of Edinburgh, Muenster, Ben Gurion, and Queensland. He is the author seven books and 65 articles and book chapters.
He has been elected to the honorific societies of the three academic areas to which he contributes. He is a Fellow of the Hastings Center (bioethics), a Fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion (religion and science), and a member of the Sociological Research Association (sociology).
He has focused his research on a number of overlapping areas, all of which concern the foundational humanistic questions behind scientific and technological development. He is an expert on the ethics of human gene editing, and more generally in the ethics of science and technology Following this research interest he co-directs the Institute for Practical Ethics at UC, San Diego.
He is also a leader in the sociological study of the relationship between religion and science, an area in which he co-leads a small scholarly network and a 2.9 million dollar re-granting project. A number of his research projects are sociological studies of the public’s views of the foundational questions in technology such as “what is a human?” and “what is enhancement?” He has a long time interest and expertise in explaining the forms of argument that are dominant in the field now called bioethics.
In pursuing the foundational questions, Evans engages with a wide range of academic fields including philosophy, history, science studies and political theory. His methods range from statistical analysis of survey questions, inductive discourse analysis of in-depth interviews, historical analysis and philosophical forms of argumentation. He is also interested in academic administration and is Associate Dean of Social Sciences at UC, San Diego.