The greatest problems of the 21st century – climate change, environmental degradation, terrorism, poverty, global inequality, mass migration, depletion of resources, infectious diseases, abuse and neglect of children – are predominantly the result of human choice and behaviour. The greatest problems humanity now faces are not the result of external threat, but are the result of human choice. They are caused by human moral limitations. We should not rest content with our current strategies for addressing violence, global poverty and climate change. We should look to not only policies tailored to our moral limitations, but to altering the biological dispositions which contribute to these limitations. Research into human moral bioenhancement is an urgent priority.
Professor Julian Savulescu has held the Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford since 2002. He holds degrees in medicine, neuroscience and bioethics. He is Director of the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics, one of three strategic centres in biomedical ethics in the UK funded by the Wellcome Trust. In 2014, he was awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator award to work on Responsibility and Health Care. He is also Director of the Institute for Science and Ethics within the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, where he examines the ethical implications of technology affecting the mind, as well as leading an interdisciplinary programme on collective responsibility for infectious disease. In 2017, he will establish the interdisciplinary Wellcome Centre for Ethics, Innovation, Globalisation and Medicine with co-Directors in Public Health, Psychiatry and History.
He is Editor of Journal of Medical Ethics and founding editor of Journal of Practical Ethics. He is the Sir Louis Matheson Distinguished Visiting Professor at Monash University and Honorary Professorial Fellow at Florey Neuroscience Institutes. He received an honorary doctorate from University of Bucharest in 2014.