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He graduated cum laude with a B.A. from William and Mary and a Ph.D. from New York University, writing under visiting Australian bioethicist Peter Singer. Professor Pence also directs UAB's competitive Early Medical School Acceptance Program (EMSAP) and taught ethics for thirty-four years at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. In 2006, Samford University awarded him a Pellegrino Medal for achievement in medical ethics. In 2011, he switched from teaching in the medical school to chairing the UAB Department of Philosophy and directing EMSAP.
His most-known work has labeled him as a rebel in the scientific community. Some critics, especially GreenPeace of Europe, consider him an apologist for the safety of GM foods. As displayed in his many books on the subject of cloning (Who's Afraid of Cloning, etc.), he is one of the few bioethicists who believes that human cloning should not be banned but rather accepted in modern society as a medical marvel. In 2001, Pence testified before the US Congress against a bill that would have criminalized all aspects of human cloning. His opinions are illustrated in his many papers and books about assisted reproduction and human cloning.
His textbook, Medical Ethics, is one of the field's standards and was 25 years old in 2015 in its 7th edition. At UAB, he has won several teaching awards, including the Ingall's and President's. In 2010, he coached the UAB team that won the national championship of the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl He also coached the UAB team that won the national championship of the Bioethics Bowl in 2011 at the National Undergraduate Bioethics Conference (NUBC) at Duke University and his team won the Bioethics Bowl again at NUBC in 2015 at Florida State University.
Pence has authored the following books:
- Pence, G. "What We Talk About When We Talk About Clone Club: Bioethics and Philosophy in Orphan Black," BenBella Books, 2016.
- Pence, G. How to Build a Better Human: An Ethical Blueprint, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2012.
- Pence, G. Medical Ethics: Accounts of Ground-Breaking Cases in Medical Ethics, 7/ed., McGraw-Hill Publishers, 2014.
- Pence, G. Who's Afraid of Human Cloning?, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1998.
- Pence, G. Re-Creating Medicine: Ethical Issues at the Frontiers of Medicine, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2000.
- Pence, G. Designer Food: Mutant Harvest or Breadbasket of the World?, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2001.
- Pence, G. Cloning After Dolly: Who's Still Afraid?, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2004.
- Pence, G. The Elements of Bioethics, McGraw-Hill Publishers, 2007.
He has edited four books, the last one below being a collection of his op-eds in newspapers and magazines:
- Pence, G. Classic Works in Medical Ethics, McGraw-Hill Publishers, 1995.
- Pence, G. The Ethics of Food: A Reader for the Twenty-First Century, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2002.
- Pence, G. Flesh of My Flesh: The Ethics of Cloning Humans, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1998.
- Pence, G., Brave New Bioethics, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003.
- "Pence". Uab.edu. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Wimberly, Mary. "Satcher, Veatch, Dean Receive Pellegrino Medals; Satcher Examines Health Disparities". Samford.edu. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Campbell, Courtney (March 2004). "Brave New Bioethics by Gregory E. Pence, Review". Politics and the Life Sciences. 23 (1): 73–75. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- "Gregory Pence, AgBioView and the huckster parade". Gmwatch.eu/. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
- "Issues Raised by Human Cloning, Congressional Hearing". Gpo.gov. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Sutton, Marie. "UAB professor's textbook still published after quarter of a century". Uab.edu. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
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- "UAB Ethics Bowl Team wins first national championship". Uab.edu. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
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- Westry, Tiffany. "UAB bioethics team claims national title". Retrieved 5 September 2015.