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Ethics and 21st Century Challenges


Can we develop a common set of values to protect freshwater resources, land-use and atmosphere? Is there space for individual moral and legal responsibility on a technologically complex battlefield? Can we improve food yields without breaking ethical codes?

The challenges of the 21st century are vast - wide in range, global in scale, and complex in nature - and many of them are being addressed directly by researchers in the Oxford Martin School.

This term our seminar series Ethics and 21st Century Challenges will interrogate the science, ethics and social implications arising from some of the most exciting academic research going on at the School. The series will feature academics who are working to address critical global challenges, from healthcare to resource scarcity and climate change to financial risk, and ethicists who are trying to identify, understand and inform the ethical and societal implications of such research. Together, they will explore the ethical dimensions of the latest research, and reflect on what kinds of practical safeguards, policy frameworks or public opinions should be considered in these contexts.

This free public seminar series is held in collaboration with the Institute for Science and Ethics, an Oxford Martin School institute. Seminars will take place at 12pm Friday lunchtimes at the Humanities Building Lecture Theatre, 2nd Floor, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG, starting on 1 February, 2013. (Please note that the Oxford Martin School’s Old Indian Institute Building will be closed for refurbishment.)

Sign up here to attend one or more of the seminars

  • 01 Feb: "Resource stewardship – can we develop a new common sense morality?" by Prof Myles Allen
  • 08 Feb: "Killing with computers – the ethics of autonomous and remote controlled weapons" by Dr Alex Leveringhaus
  • 15 Feb: "Ethics and infectious disease – navigating the moral maze of pandemic control" by Prof Paul Klenerman
  • 22 Feb: "Ethics and plant science – improving food yields in a changing environment" by Prof Jane Langdale & Prof Liam Dolan
  • 01 Mar: "Geoengineering – the problem of competing values in environmental and technological governance" by Prof Steve Rayner
  • 08 Mar: "Nanomedicine – time to bridge the gap from experimental science to product regulation" by Dr Sonia Trigueros