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Dr. Mary J. Ruwart is a research scientist, ethicist, and a libertarian author/activist. She received her B.S. in biochemistry in 1970 and her Ph.D. in Biophysics in 1974 (both from Michigan State University). She subsequently joined the Department of Surgery at St. Louis University and left her Assistant Professorship there to accept a position with The Upjohn Company of Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1976. As a senior research scientist, Dr. Ruwart was involved in developing new therapies for a variety of diseases, including liver cirrhosis and AIDS.
Dr. Ruwart left Upjohn in 1995 to devote her time to consulting and writing. Her communications course for scientists, covering written, oral, and poster presentations has received high praise from attendees. She also provides consulting services for nutraceutical companies, clinical research organizations, and universities.
Between 2003 and 2006, Dr. Ruwart was an adjunct Associate Professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. During that time, she served with the Center for Applied and Professional Ethics, designing a medical research ethics course for the University. Her radical application of ethics to medical regulation, especially regulations regarding pharmaceuticals, has life-and-death-implications.
Since 1982, Dr. Ruwart has also been involved in societal ethics with a focus on the political theory and practice of libertarianism. Her award-winning international best-selling book, Healing Our World, demonstrates how the ethical application of libertarian principles has historically created harmony and abundance. Referencing hundreds of studies, Dr. Ruwart demonstrates that many of our current policies surreptitiously violate the basic ethical standards that we hold dear, thereby leading to unintended—and highly undesirable—consequences. Over the last three decades, Dr. Ruwart has often run for public office as a Libertarian Candidate, primarily to educate voters on the impact of ethical choices on their personal and financial well-being.
Dr. Ruwart’s sister, Martie, provided extensive editorial critique to the first (1992) edition of Healing Our World. In 1993, Martie was diagnosed with terminal cancer and became one of Dr. Kevorkian’s patients. In memory of her sister, Dr. Ruwart shares her story with those interested in the ethical issues surrounding assisted suicide in both public (Larry King Radio; The Morton Downey, Jr. Show; Rolanda, etc.) and private forums (e.g., churches, schools, hospice).
Her Internet column, Ask Dr. Ruwart, is a popular feature of the Advocates for Self-Government “Liberator OnLine” e-zine (www.theadvocates.org/programs/liberator-online/). Her book, Short Answers to the Tough Question, is based on these and other questions she has received over the years.
Dr. Ruwart has worked extensively with the poor through her decade-long efforts to rehabilitate low-income housing in the Kalamazoo area. She was also an active member of the Kalamazoo Rainforest Action Committee and has been profiled in American Men and Women of Science, Who’s Who in Science and Technology, World Who’s Who of Women, International Leaders of Achievement, Who’s Who of American Women, Community Leaders of North America and several other prestigious biographical works.
Currently, Dr. Ruwart serves as Chair of the International Society for Individual Liberty (www.isil.org) and Secretary of the Foundation for a Free Society (www.f4fs.org). She has been an At-Large member of the Libertarian National Committee (www.lp.org), served on the Board of both the Heartland Institute (www.heartland.org; Michigan Chapter) and the Fully Informed Jury Amendment Association (www.fija.org).