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Kelly Whelan Heuer


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Kelly Whelan Heuer


Hi, I'm Kelly.

I work at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, one of the world's oldest academic ethics centers, located in Washington, DC.

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Philosophy


My formal training is in academic philosophy.

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Philosophy


My formal training is in academic philosophy.

That's Dr. Heuer to you.

I earned degrees in philosophy from Harvard and Georgetown, where I worked primarily in contemporary analytic ethics. I designed courses, taught students, wrote papers, presented at conferences, served on the editorial staff of three different academic journals, and wrote a dissertation called Underdetermination & the Will.

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Design


I worked my way through school as a freelance graphic and web designer.

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Design


I worked my way through school as a freelance graphic and web designer.

Right brain, left brain.

While my left brain was consumed with philosophy, my right brain got to work creating posters, brochures, slideshows, websites, and more for a variety of clients in and around Washington, DC. I found that I loved not just the visual but also the communications and strategy aspects of many of these projects.

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Philosophy + Design


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Philosophy + Design


In 2013, the two began to come together in strange and wonderful ways.

I defended my dissertation, received my PhD, and landed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, giving me two more years at my now-beloved Georgetown, and the chance to get more hands-on experience as a bioethicist.

Though I'd worked on a number of bioethics initiatives before, the work I started to do as a fellow was unlike anything I'd done before: it combined design and philosophy in ways I hadn't realized were possible.

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And now


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And now


In 2013, I began a series of projects at Georgetown that involved the deliberate interface of design and philosophy, including designing the user experience of the world's first massive open online course (MOOC) in bioethics, serving as a teaching assistant for an experimental philosophy course modeled on an architecture studio class, and helping to found the world's first social innovation lab focused on bioethics: EthicsLab.


I love bioethics; I love design; and I love exploring their surprisingly rich intersection.


So when, just a few months into my two-year term, I was offered the chance to parlay the fellowship into a full-time permanent position at the KIE, I didn't even have to think twice.

As Head of Communications and Project Development, I get to work as a philosopher-designer every day, with some of my favorite people on earth, on projects that aim to make the world a better place.

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Say Hello


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Say Hello


Stay in touch.

You can find me on social media via the buttons below; feel free to get in touch there or directly via email at heuer [at] post [dot] harvard [dot] edu.