116 episodes

A selection of seminars and special lectures on wide-ranging topics relating to practical ethics. The Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics was established in 2002 with the support of the Uehiro Foundation on Ethics and Education of Japan. It is an integral part of the philosophy faculty of Oxford University, one of the great centres of academic excellence in philosophical ethics.

Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics Oxford University

    • Courses

A selection of seminars and special lectures on wide-ranging topics relating to practical ethics. The Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics was established in 2002 with the support of the Uehiro Foundation on Ethics and Education of Japan. It is an integral part of the philosophy faculty of Oxford University, one of the great centres of academic excellence in philosophical ethics.

    Why is mental healthcare so ethically confusing? Clinicians and institutions from an anthropological perspective

    Why is mental healthcare so ethically confusing? Clinicians and institutions from an anthropological perspective

    In this talk, Neil Armstrong uses ethnographic material of NHS mental healthcare to raise some questions about autonomy, risk and personal and institutional responsibility. Neil Armstrong's research investigates mental health. He is particularly interested in how the institutional setting shapes so much of mental healthcare. His research aims to find ways that we might improve healthcare institutions rather than just focussing on developing new healthcare interventions. He is also concerned with methodological questions: how anthropological work can be of clinical value, and how best to produce anthropological knowledge in an inclusive way.

    • 39 min
    Hornless Cattle - is Gene Editing the Best Solution?

    Hornless Cattle - is Gene Editing the Best Solution?

    In this talk, Prof. Peter Sandøe argues that, from an ethical viewpoint, gene editing is the best solution to produce hornless cattle. There are, however, regulatory hurdles. Presented at the workshop 'Gene Editing and Animal Welfare, 19 Nov. 2019, Oxford - organised by the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, funded by the Society for Applied Philosophy. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 31 min
    Blockchain, consent and prosent for medical research

    Blockchain, consent and prosent for medical research

    Respecting patients' autonomy is increasingly important in the digital age, yet researchers have raised concerns over the barriers of access to medical data useful for data-driven medical research. Respecting patients and their autonomy, a primary obligation of medical professionals, is increasingly important in the digital age. Yet biomedical and bioethical researchers have raised concerns over the barriers of access to previously stored medical data useful for epidemiological and other data-driven medical research. These barriers were introduced to protect the privacy and autonomy of patients but have had the unintended consequence of widespread and often severe selection bias, undermining research quality. This talk introduces novel advances in computer science and cryptography, notably blockchain, as a proposed solution to the dilemmas raised by consent requirements to retroactive epidemiological research. It describes how these technologies can be used to reduce or eliminate data breach risks as well as radically enhance control over medical data for those who possess it. Ethics and the law of most nations allow for consent waivers for research with minimal risk. If implemented properly, blockchain- and smart-contract based tools could reduce the privacy risk of most, if not all, records-based research to minimal, thus potentially freeing up the legislative space for a large-scale facilitation of records-based research. Importantly, the technology described in this talk could also be used to radically enhance the control that individuals and other data owners have over their pseudonymous medical data. These insights are critical to the increasingly important policy issues concerning access to, and control over, biomedical data.
    These affordances of novel technologies should be widely discussed in the medical and policy professions to ensure that they are used for the furtherance of ethical principles. This talk aims to open preliminary discussion on these topics. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 31 min
    Genetic Selection and Enhancement

    Genetic Selection and Enhancement

    Professor Julian Savulescu and Dr Katrien Devolder discuss the use of genetic testing to select which children to bring into the world. Should we use genetic testing to choose which children to bring into the world, and if so, how should we choose? Is it acceptable to choose a deaf child? Should we choose our children on the basis of non-disease traits such as intelligence or fitness, if we can? Does genetic selection put too much pressure on prospective parents? In this interview with Katrien Devolder (Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics), Professor Julian Savulescu, director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, defends his controversial view that we should select those children, from among the children we could have, that will have the best chance at the best life. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 55 min
    From Eugenics to Human Gene Editing: Engineering Life in China in a Global Context

    From Eugenics to Human Gene Editing: Engineering Life in China in a Global Context

    In November 2018, a Chinese scientist announced the birth of the world’s first gene-edited babies and sparked outrage across the world. Professor Nie considers how China's complex socio-ethical approach paved the way for this controversial experiment. Among numerous ethical issues, editing heritable germline genomes of otherwise healthy embryos for natural resistance to HIV constitutes an effort of positive eugenics, i.e. not treating disease but enhancing genetic features. This paradigm case of scientific misconduct has its roots in the widespread practice of yousheng (eugenics) in China and in the nation’s pursuit of science superpower status. This talk will offer a (brief) socio-ethical inquiry into how the ideologies of nationalism, sinicised social Darwinism and scientism have shaped the Chinese authoritarian model of human genetic engineering in a global context.

    • 47 min
    Freedom of Political Communication, Propaganda and the Role of Epistemic Institutions in Cyberspace

    Freedom of Political Communication, Propaganda and the Role of Epistemic Institutions in Cyberspace

    Professor Seumas Miller defines fake news, hate speech and propaganda, discusses the relationship between social media and political propaganda. In this article I provide definitions of fake news, hate speech and propaganda, respectively. These phenomenon are corruptive of the epistemic (i.e. knowledge-aiming) norms, e.g. to tell the truth. I also elaborate the right to freedom of communication and its relation both to censoring propaganda and to the role of epistemic institutions, such as a free and independent press and universities. Finally, I discuss the general problem of countering political propaganda in cyberspace and argue, firstly, that there is an important role for epistemic institutions in this regard and, secondly, that social media platforms need to be redesigned since, as they stand and notwithstanding the benefits which they provide, they are a large part of the problem. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 53 min

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