Science Ethics PhD
New PhD programme and scholarship in Science Ethics
New for 2012, the 3-4 year PhD programme in Science Ethics, in the Faculty of Life Sciences, is based on an individual research project working with a specific academic supervisor(s).
The Faculty’s Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation (iSEI) has developed an overarching field of academic study in ‘Science Ethics’, which is conducted within the context of current and future trends in life sciences, and involves ‘bench-scientists’ in areas such as neuroscience, stem cell biology, reproduction, biosecurity and biofuels, as much as those with backgrounds in ethics, law, philosophy and governance. Distinct from the more traditional subject of Philosophy of Science and the more specific disciplines of Bioethics or Research Ethics, Science Ethics is important today owing to the truly interdisciplinary (and global) nature and impact of scientific research.
Suggested PhD project titles include:
Science and Society theme
- Dual use technologies: how to make them ethical? (John Harris)
- Scientific freedom versus public safety: how to square the circle? (John Harris)
- Is pure, blue skies science ethical? (John Harris)
- Addressing major research challenges: an examination of global dynamics affecting the contributions of science (Catherine Rhodes)
- Regenerative medicine and human enhancement (John Harris / Sarah Chan)
Ethics of new and emerging technologies theme
- Neuroscience, law and society: implications for criminal responsibility, machine-brain interfaces, neuroscience and freedom (Sarah Chan)
- Animals and research (Sarah Chan)
- Keeping up with the reproductive revolution: how science has transformed the traditional 'family' and the legal and ethical issues such advances give rise to (Amel Alghrani)
- An exploration of how scientific advances in the realm of artificial reproductive technologies, such as artificial wombs (ectogenesis) and womb transplants threaten to close the gender divide and make the distinction between men and women redundant (Amel Alghrani)
The Institute also welcomes enquiries from prospective PhD students (including self-funded students) at any time, not just in connection with a specific vacancy.
Potential projects are available for self-funded or sponsored applicants. An annual ‘Science Ethics’ scholarship is offered by FLS/iSEI to an outstanding PhD candidate each year. Further details regarding future scholarships will be posted here for 2013/14 entry in due course.
Overseas applicants can also apply to the FLS International Postgraduate Research Bursaries scheme. See: Funding
How to Apply
If you are interested in being considered for this new programme, you should follow the general instructions on our How to Apply page. Please select ‘PhD Science Ethics’ from the list available on the online application form. You should also identify in your application the potential research projects from those available.