Professor Halpern combines philosophical analysis with empirical research in psychology, psychiatry, behavioral economics and neuroscience to investigate foundational ethical responsibilities. Her work illuminates how emotional thought processes influence decision-making, how we adapt to loss, how we view our futures and how we relate to others.
- Engineering Empathy: explores how emerging technology to simulate or amplify empathy changes our sense of self and relationships in unexpected ways. Case studies include AI psychotherapy, robotics for elder and child care, and using VR/AR to inspire philanthropy.
- Gene Editing from Bench to Bedside: examines how beliefs held by translational scientists influence development, implementation, ethics and regulation of gene editing technologies.
- Remaking the Self in the Wake of Illness: describes how people can cultivate empathic curiosity towards themselves and regain the ability to envision and take steps into an uncertain future.
Ongoing research interests include:
- Ethics of innovative technologies (AI, gene editing and neurotechnology)
- Empathic curiosity to address conflicts in the workplace and society
- Emotions and decision-making
- Autonomy, agency and human rights
- Research ethics
- Empathy and healthcare ethics
- Public health ethics and distributive justice