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Paul J. Scherz

Associate Professor


  • BA, University of California, Berkeley
  • PhD in Genetics, Harvard University
  • PhD in Moral Theology, University of Notre Dame

Research Interests

My main area of study is the intersection of religious ethics with science, technology, and medicine. I also research the influence of the Stoic tradition of virtue ethics on Christian ethics, especially Catholic moral theology. My first book, Science and Christian Ethics (Cambridge, 2019) used virtue theory as a lens to examine the moral formation of scientists in light of the contemporary replication crisis in science. My most recent book, Tomorrow’s Troubles: Risk, Anxiety, and Prudence in an Age of Algorithmic Governance (Georgetown, 2022), examines the role that quantitative risk analysis plays in contemporary practical reason and social practice in areas such as direct-to-consumer genetic testing, risk-reducing medications, the use of algorithms in social media, and contemporary governance. I compare these attempts to control future dangers with classical understandings of prudence and Christian calls to avoid excessive anxiety over the future.

I have also written on many topics in bioethics, such as human enhancement, genetic technology, and end of life ethics, with this latter interest leading to a volume I co-edited with Joseph Davis on The Evening of Life: The Challenges of Aging and Dying Well (Notre Dame, 2020). I am currently working on projects on the ethics of the use of artificial intelligence in medicine and a book on the ethics of precision medicine.


  • Bioethics
  • Catholic Moral Thought
  • End of Life Ethics
  • Religion and Science
  • Stoicism
  • Technology Ethics
  • Virtue Ethics

Selected Publications

  • “No Acceptable Losses: Risk, Prevention, and Justice.” Christian Bioethics 29, no. 2 (2023): 164-75.
  • Tomorrow’s Troubles: Risk, Anxiety, and Prudence in an Age of Algorithmic Governance. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2022.
  • “How the Body Became Integrated: Cybernetics in the History of the Brain Death Debate.” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 47, no. 3 (2022): 387-406.
  • “Data Ethics, AI, and Accompaniment: The Dangers of Depersonalization in Catholic Health Care.” Theological Studies 83, no. 2 (2022): 271–292.