The talk (abstract below) comprises a 10-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute panel discussion. It is based on Francesca's 2020 paper with Konrad v Boyneburgk, 'COVID-19 calls for virtue ethics', which they published in the Journal of Law and the Biosciences.
Since joining MetaScience in January 2019, Francesca has presented her research at numerous high-profile international conferences. Now in the third year of her PhD and having had various opportunities postponed due to the global pandemic, we are delighted that she has secured her first invite as a keynote speaker.
In her work for MetaScience, Francesca specialises in metaphysics of science and philosophy of biology. She is currently investigating the relationship between chemistry and biology, and her doctoral thesis project focuses on biochemical natural kinds, in particular in genetics. More generally, Francesca has a keen interest in General Philosophy of Science and Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, especially Aristotle and the Medieval problem of universals.
This keynote talk is only available to Atlantic Fellows, but a recording will be made available afterwards. You can catch more of Francesca's work when she presents at EPSA21 as part of the MetaScience symposium 'The Metaphysical Unity of Science' (15:00-17:00, Thursday, 16th September).
Atlantic Fellows keynote in detail:
(K)new World Re-Imagined - Reflecting and Re-orienting - surfacing the ethical and philosophical questions from the pandemic.
Across the world, the beginning of 2020 was characterised by fear and uncertainty. When the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, life as we knew it ceased. People were told to work from home and engage in social distancing measures as a way to prevent transmission, while hospitals and healthcare facilities geared up for a wave of patients battling a virus which has no cure and which placed a strain on critical care services.
Yet the response to the pandemic also significantly changed our priorities and the values we collectively held on to. Freedoms, including freedom of speech were dramatically curtailed in the name of public safety. Similarly, political and economic positions of many governments changed rapidly in the wake of shutdowns and the role of the state in public life became unquestionable. More painful were the decisions taken on what lives would matter and who should be prioritised. The inequalities of our time were evident once again. Over a year later, we live in a more hopeful time. Thanks to the efforts of scientists, there are now multiple coronavirus vaccines which studies indicate are capable of preventing death, severe illness and in some cases, the rapid spread of the virus. Many parts of the world have lifted restrictions and in a number of countries hospitals are starting to see fewer critical cases. However, once again, critical questions are being asked on how we value freedom and livelihoods. Who is prioritised in the effort to vaccinate populations and what additional restrictions will society accept to prevent the further spread of this deadly virus? Furthermore, there are deeper questions of how inequalities made worse by the pandemic will be dealt with. This uniqueness of this moment allows us to reflect on how different members of society reacted and what was prioritized during this pressurized moment. It also gives us pause to consider how and what we continue to advocate for as the world changes. During this conversation, leading thinkers will be in a facilitated conversation on ethical and philosophical dimensions of the world we want to build. Guiding the conversation will be three key questions:
This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant agreement No 771509. All project outputs are published Open Access. Website photo credit: Matt Lincoln Photography
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