David R. Buchanan

David Buchanan
Professional Title: 
Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Promotion & Policy, and Director of the Institute for Global Health
Community Health Education
Campus Address: 
306 Arnold House

B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1974; M.P.H., University of California, Berkeley, 1979; Dr.PH., University of California, Berkeley, 1989

Area(s) of Specialization: 

public health ethics, community-based participatory research, international health, interpretive research, humanistic program design

Research Description: 

My research starts from the assumption that human beings have free will and exercise agency, in contrast to the predominant assumption in the field that behavior is determined by antecedent causal factors. The implications for research and practice in public health promotion are profound, shifting from a strict focus on identifying behavior change interventions to developing processes that treat people with dignity and respect and that strengthen their autonomy towards living the life they find most worthwhile.  My research thus blends empirical and normative research methods, recognizing that the values and ethical principles that give people direction and purpose cannot readily be reduced to forced-choice items on survey questionnaires.  I am seeking to develop a framework for conducting public health promotion that is modeled on the ideals of higher education, dispelling ignorance and prejudice and enabling people to gain greater clarity and self-direction.

I am also the Director of the Institute for Global Health, which supports multidisciplinary research projects and educational programs in international settings.

Key Publications: 

Buchanan, David, and Miller FG. Justice in Research on Human Subjects. In Rosamond Rhodes, Anita Silvers and Peggy Battin (Eds.), Health Care and Social Justice, Oxford University Press, 2012.

Buchanan, David, Reddy, Priscilla, Sifunda, Sibu, James, Shegs. Assuring adequate protections in international health research: A principled justification and practical recommendations for the role of community oversight. Public Health Ethics 1(3):246-257, 2008.

Buchanan, David. Autonomy, Paternalism & Justice: Ethical priorities in public health. American Journal of Public Health, 98: 15-21, 2008.

Buchanan, David, Miller, Franklin G., and Wallerstein, Nina. Ethical Issues in Community Based Participatory Research: Balancing rigorous research with community participation. Progress in Community Health Partnerships, 2(1): 153-60, 2007.

Buchanan, David. An Ethic for Health Promotion: Re-thinking the Sources of Human Well-Being. Oxford University Press, New York, 2000.