One of the main goals of Reuben College is to facilitate interdisciplinary research and collaboration in order to tackle some of the most challenging questions of our time, such as how to mitigate climate change or how to safely use AI to promote healthcare. To this end, it is of the utmost importance that we also examine the ethical issues and societal implications arising from scientific and technological developments, as well as the social and cultural values which often drive opinions and decisions.
The “Ethics and Values” research theme focuses on applied ethics and real world problems. It creates strong links across the diverse research expertise within the College community by engaging with the ethical questions that various themes have in common (e.g. ethics of privacy is relevant to both the AI and Cellular Life themes). Deploying theories and analytical techniques from philosophy, sociology, psychology and other disciplines within the humanities, the theme aims to encourage and facilitate critical thinking about what research we conduct, how we conduct it, and with what goal. What sort of world should we strive to create through academic research?
We seek to include a diverse representation of backgrounds and fields of study within this research theme, and to engage scholars from a range of disciplines, who can offer invaluable contributions to critical thinking about approaches to and outcomes from new developments in science, medicine and technology.
Among some of the initiatives we intend to offer to Reuben College’s academic enrichment opportunities are:
- Introductory lectures on applied ethics and its applications to research questions and policy decisions
- Skills workshops on ethical reasoning and argumentation
- Joint seminars with Reuben Fellows in other fields, such as artificial intelligence (AI), biomedicine or conservation
- Oxford-style public debates on challenging issues
- A seminar series on the cultural ethics of museums (delivered through our strong links with GLAM)
Students will benefit greatly from the expertise gathered through this theme, and the perspectives and knowledge generated will contribute to their development as well-rounded scientists and researchers who are able to contribute not only to the advancement of knowledge but also to the betterment of society as a whole.