Mediathek

Supporting the Public’s Trust in Scientific Research in Ethically Challenging Settings

Mark Yarborough, Dean's Professor of Bioethics, University of California, Davis Medical School

Speech at the Herrenhausen Symposium "Dual Use Research on Microbes: Biosafety, Biosecurity, Responsibility", 12.12.2014

Mark Yarborough, a well-known philosopher, raises the question if scientists should be conducting gain-of-function research in general. He asks if we can promote disease treatment and prevention and simultaneously adequately avoid the risks imposed by potentially dangerous research. Also he discusses if we should forgo possible public health protections that might be gained from doing the research in order to avoid harms and other risks intrinsic to the research. He emphasized the importance of trust from society in science and the role of scientists in gaining this trust. Yarborough received his Ph.D. in philosophy with a special concentration in bioethics from the University of Tennessee. He has been on the faculties of Auburn University, the University of Colorado, Denver, and the University of California, Davis. While at Denver, he was chair of the Philosophy Department and later the director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the university’s health sciences campus. Dr. Yarborough joined the faculty of the University of California Davis Bioethics Program in April 2010 as dean’s professor of bioethics. His primary area of scholarship and research is ethical issues in biomedical research, with a special focus on matters related to trustworthiness in the biomedical research enterprise.

Photo: Philip Bartz for Volkswagen Foundation

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