The Mason Institute (MI) is pleased to have awarded six scholarships to help outstanding international students attend the 13th World Congress of the International Association of Bioethics (IAB 2016).

Ahead of this exciting event, taking place in Edinburgh on 14-17 June, MI asked its scholarship recipients to share what they hoped to get out of their attendance at IAB 2016, as well as a bioethics-related journal article that has influenced their work.

Dunja Begović, Serbia

IAB 2016 Goals

“I hope that attending the Congress will help me get an overview of the current topics of interest in bioethics and public health ethics. To this end I plan to attend presentations on various themes and try to familiarize myself with subjects I don’t know much about. I am very interested in the opportunity to hear concrete examples and case studies from different countries, and to listen to researchers from different fields. I’m also very excited about the opportunity to attend the FAB/IAB crossover lectures. Finally, the sessions dedicated to Early Career Researchers seem like a very precious resource for students. I will definitely participate in them and I look forward to meeting peers with similar interests, as well as getting practical advice from more experienced colleagues.”

Bioethics Article

“Understanding Autonomy Relationally: Toward a Reconfiguration of Bioethical Principles“ by Anne Donchin (Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 2001)

“This article inspired me to think about how constitutive social relations are of our sense of self, and how this fact should reflect on our conception of the relationship between physician and patient. In particular, it led me to explore alternative approaches to autonomy and the possible contribution of other principles, such as vulnerability and dignity, in my MA thesis.”

Sarah McNeill, Australia

IAB 2016 Goals

“My three aspirations for the IAB 2016 are: 1) Connecting with fellow students and early career researchers who are at a similar stage to me. It’s easy to be daunted looking at professorial publication records and impressive CVs when you are just starting out in the academic world; 2) Gathering as much feedback as possible. I will be presenting for the first time and I look forward to sharing my ideas and having seasoned thinkers engage with them in a (hopefully) constructive way; 3) Getting to as many of the Arts+Ethics events as possible. I am intrigued by the potential to represent bioethical issues through artistic expression. I also lack creative tendencies, so admire all who possess them.”

Bioethics Article

Lakoff, A. (2010). Two Regimes of Global Health. Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development. 1(1) pp. 59-79.

“I first read this article in 2013 and it opened my eyes to the dichotomy between public health interventions driven by concern for individual wellbeing and those buttressed on the premise of protection for wealthy states against emerging pathogens. The contrast between the philosophies of ‘global health security’ and ‘humanitarian biomedicine’ have become ever more relevant in the face of Public Health Emergencies such as Ebola and Zika and reductions in foreign aid budgets as a result of the global economic downturn in 2009. It would be impossible for me to consider the practical and ethical issues around research, data sharing and the relationship between the Global North and the Global South in this context without understanding the broader political and historical influences that Lakoff addresses.”

Emilia Niemiec, Italy

IAB 2016 Goals

“I am looking forward to the session on new technologies (in particular on gene editing) and ethics, during which I hope to learn new perspectives on ethical issues of new technologies. I am also looking forward to presenting my research on media coverage of gene editing and hope to have insightful discussions with conference participants. I am also excited to see the art exhibition and watch performances, which I expect to be very inspiring experiences.”

Bioethics Article

Olson S. International Summit on Human Gene Editing: A Global Discussion. National Academy of Sciences: Washington, DC: 2016.

“In December 2015 a group of experts met in Washington to discuss scientific, ethical, legal, social and governance issues associated with human gene editing. In the final session the organizing committee released a statement including a recommendation for a global inclusive debate on gene editing involving various stakeholders. This statement was one of the inspirations for my research on media coverage of gene editing. My work aims to provide insights on what the public is and isn’t informed about regarding gene editing and consequently how the debate is influenced.”

Mason Institute IAB 2016 Scholarship Awardees