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Beyond normality? technologies between assistance and enhancement

Location: G010 Moore Institute Seminar Room, The Hardiman Building, NUI Galway
Date: Friday, April 5th 2019
Time: 12.30 – 17.00

12.30 – 14.00: Seminar by Moore Institute Visiting Fellow – Dr. Mirko Daniel Garasic

Why should we regulate the use of cognitive enhancers?: “Let me tell you why I should tell you that I took Ritalin before this talk”

14.30 – 16.05: Beyond normality? technologies between assistance and enhancement workshop

14.30 – 14.35: Heike Felzmann: Overview of workshop
14.35 – 14.50: Oliver Feeney: Human Enhancement Technologies: key challenges and opportunities
14.50 – 15.05: Discussion
15.05 – 15.20: Heike Felzmann: ELS issues in wearable robots between assistance and enhancement of motor function – a taxonomy.
15.20 – 15.35: Discussion
15.35 – 15.50: Su-Ming Khoo: Algocracy and the threats to democratic inclusion – interrogating democratic capabilities in transhumanist times
15.50 – 16.05: Discussion

16.10 – 17.00: Launch of B-CAUSE IRC COALESCE project, Dr. Su-Ming Khoo, (with wine reception).

For full details, please see: Lecture and workshop – NUIG – 5 April 2019 – final


For more information, please email:


Not a UNESCO Bioethics Ireland event but UBI was represented in the Royal Irish Academy event on ‘Gene Editing: Technologies, Potential and Ethical Implications’

Oliver Feeney (UBI, NUIG) joined Dr Siobhán O’Sullivan (Lecturer in Healthcare Ethics and Law, RCSI; former Chief Bioethics Officer, Dept. of Health), Dick Ahlstrom (author and former Science Editor of The Irish Times) and Dr Derick Mitchell (Chief Executive of the Irish Platform for Patient Organisations, Science and Industry) on a discussion panel regarding the ethical issues to be considered in the context of emerging gene editing technologies. For the details of the day, please see RIA Genome Editing Conference Programme.

For an interesting recent Irish Times article on the panel topic by Dick Ahlstrom, please go here.

Panel on The Politics of Science and Biomedicine in Ireland at the PSAI Annual Conference 12th Oct. 2018, Strand Hotel Limerick.

Issues of bioethical concern in the Irish context was the subject of a panel on ‘The Politics of Science and Biomedicine in Ireland’ on the 12th October 2018 with presentations from Dr. Maureen O’Sullivan (School of Law, NUIG), Dr. Padraig Murphy (School of Communications, DCU) and Oliver Feeney (COBRA, NUIG).

  • Bioethical oversight, genome-editing and the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill – some considerations from the divergent Irish and UK approaches – Oliver Feeney
  • Deliberation and participation in research with moral connotations: some lessons from Brazil and Spain – Maureen O’Sullivan
  • Propositions of Life Itself: first steps towards aligning biopolitical theories with Irish reproductive politics – Padraig Murphy

For the abstracts of the papers, please go here.

Workshop on ethics & chronic illness: QUB, Belfast (6-7th September)

Dr Tom Walker organised a workshop on ethics and chronic illness in QUB on the 6-7th September, with speakers Nancy Berlinger (The Hastings Center), Ann Gallagher (University of Surrey), Mark Schweda (University of Goettingen), Gry Wester (King’s College London), Michael Dunn (University of Oxford), Nancy Jecker (University of Washington), Christopher Wareham (University of Witwatersrand), James Wilson (UCL) & Tom Walker (Queen’s University Belfast).


COST Action IS1303 (CHIPME) Final Conference, September 4-6 2017 (Aula Maxima, Quadrangle, NUI Galway) – for more details, go here.


Roundtable workshop & public lecture (NUI Galway: 25th May 2017)

Room AM205, Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway (Building 13 on map)

  • 14.00-15.50: Roundtable workshop on exchanging information on participants’ bioethical-related work & on the needs of the bioethics community in Ireland – invited participants but expressions of interest welcome [contact]
  • Outline of roundtable workshop [Tea/Coffee/nibbles will be available in the room]
    • Maureen O’Sullivan (School of Law) ‘Patents, morality, biotech inventions and a role for participatory democracy’ – short presentation followed by discussion
    • Su-Ming Khoo (School of Political Science and Sociology) ‘Bioethics, public ethics and collective capabilities’ – short presentation followed by discussion
    • Oliver Feeney (UNESCO Bioethics Ireland, COBRA) ‘Electronic health records and vulnerable migrants in Europe: the need for developing an ELSI guided response’ – short presentation followed by discussion
    • General discussion on other topics raised and projects highlighted from participants, discussion of the needs of the bioethical community in Ireland (education, research, public engagement) and future plans of UNESCO Bioethics Ireland.
  • 16.00-16.30: Unesco Bioethics Ireland Steering Committee meeting (SC members plus invited)

Bridge Room 1001, First Floor, Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway. (see Building 12 on map)

  • 17.00-18.00: Dónal O’Mathúna ‘Evidence-based humanitarian work and research ethics’ (open to public, followed by drinks reception) – for more information see here




WBD logo

Recent event: One-day symposium on Irish bioethics (World Bioethics Day), 10am – 4.15pm, 19th October 2016, NUI Galway

UNESCO Bioethics Ireland (Irish unit of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics) is organised a one day symposium on Irish bioethics as part of a series of international events marking ‘World Bioethics Day’ on the 19th October 2016. The events marked the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights by the 33rd Session of the General Conference of UNESCO on the 19th of October 2005.

The symposium consisted of a series of presentations on the following topics:

  • The role of the National Advisory Committee on Bioethics: current challenges in the Irish context.
  • Bioethics in Northern Ireland: possible implications of Brexit on research and regulation on the island of Ireland.
  • Training needs for research ethics committees.
  • Ethical governance in healthcare.
  • The Cultural Context of Developing Science Policy; Embryonic Stem Cell Research in Ireland.
  • Acts, Omissions, and Assisted Death: Some Reflections on the Marie Fleming Case.
  • Human Enhancement and the Quest for Hyperagency.
  • Genetics and society: ethics, justice and changing beliefs.

The event was opened by Professor Pat Dolan (UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement, NUI Galway) and speakers included: Professor David Smith (RCSI), Dr Tom Walker (Queens University Belfast), Dr Heike Felzmann (NUI Galway), Dr Louise Campbell (NUI Galway and Clinical Ethics Ireland), Dr Gemma Moore (HSE), Annie McKeown O’Donovan (NUI Galway), Dr John Danaher (NUI Galway) and Dr Oliver Feeney (NUI Galway).

The event took take place in Seminar Room 203 (the original Moore Institute seminar room located near the Geography department), NUI Galway.

The final programme is available here.

Many thanks to all who attended! If you have left your email on the mailing list form, we will be shortly in touch. If you could not attend, but would wish to be on the mailing list, please get in touch.

For further information, please contact

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