Enhancement

Human enhancement

Biomedical technologies, such as drugs and surgical techniques, can increasingly be used not only to combat disease, but also to augment the capacities of normal, healthy individuals, a practice commonly referred to as biomedical enhancement. The best-established examples of biomedical enhancement are cosmetic surgery and doping in sports. But most recent scientific attention and ethical debate focuses on extending lifespan, lifting mood, and augmenting intellectual capacities. A number of drugs used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have already been shown to have small enhancing effects on attention and memory in normal individuals, and there are range of drugs and other biomedical techniques on the horizon that hold out promise for more dramatic effects. One such technique is brain-machine interfacing, which some predict may allow human brains to be connected directly computers to improve our information processing abilities.

Over the last decade, biomedical enhancement has become the focus of one of the liveliest and widest-ranging debates in practical ethics. In 2003, President Bush’s Council on Bioethics published a report which raised a barrage of ethical concerns about biomedical enhancement. Two former members of the council, Michael Sandel and Leon Kass, even argued that biomedical enhancement is always ethically objectionable, and that biomedical technologies should be used only to combat disease. In response to claims such as these, a number of authors have come to the defence of biomedical enhancement, arguing that it would often be ethically permissible, or even desirable. Transhumanists argue that we should pursue certain kinds of biomedical enhancement even to the point that we are no longer recognizably human.

Those who universally object to biomedical enhancement may have public opinion on their side; the few surveys of the general public conducted to date have found considerable reluctance to countenance biomedical enhancement. However, it is unclear whether there are sound arguments to back up these concerns. One challenge is to explain how biomedical enhancement differs, in an ethically important way, from ordinary biomedical treatments, which are normally regarded as by-and-large unproblematic. Suppose two individuals have an IQ of 100, but the first previously had an IQ of 150, but then suffered a serious head injury, whereas the second has always had an average IQ. Increasing the IQ of the first person would conventionally count as a treatment, whereas increasing the IQ of the second would not. Yet it is not clear that there is any ethically significant difference here.

On the other hand, defenders of enhancement must confront the widespread assumption that biomedical enhancements are ‘zero-sum’ goods, conferring some advantages on those who use them, but also offsetting competitive disadvantages on those who remain unenhanced. They have sought to do this in various ways: some point out that widespread cognitive enhancements might increase the rate of scientific progress, thus benefitting almost everyone; others draw parallels with non-biomedical innovations like agriculture and information technology, suggesting that biomedical enhancements will increase overall human productivity, and can thus be seen as part of the story of human economic development; others present biomedical enhancement as a potential solution to human moral limitations like xenophobia and limited altruism; and others still outline how biomedical enhancements could improve the performance surgeons, pilots, jurors and others performing socially critical functions. 

Resources

  • Clarke, S., Savulescu, J., Coady, C. A. J., Giubilini, A. and Sanyal, S., Eds. (2016), The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate. (Oxford: Oxford University Press) 
  • Savulescu, J. and Persson, I., (2012). Unfit for the Future: The Need for Moral Enhancement (Oxford: Oxford University Press).  Now also available in Portuguese (translated by Brunello Stancioli)
  • Savulescu, J., (2012) Decisiones peligrosas? Una bioética desafiante. Editorial Tecnos: Madrid (translation by Blanca Rodríguez López & Enrique Bonete Perales)
  • Savulescu, J., Ter Meulen, R., Kahane, G. (2011) eds. Enhancing Human Capacities. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell (published 18/3/11)
  • Knopffler, N. and Savulescu, J., (Eds.) (2009). Der neue Mensch? Enhancement und Genetik, Verlag Karl Aber
  • Savulescu, J., Bostrom, N. (Eds.) (2009). Human Enhancement, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Book Chapters

  • Douglas, T., Earp, B. D. and Savulescu, J., (2017), 'Moral Neuroenhancement'. in K. Rommelfanger and L. Johnson, (Eds.)  Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics. (Routledge, New York) [open access]
  • Giubilini, A. and S. Sanyal, (2016), 'Challenging human enhancement'. in  S. Clarke, J. Savulescu, C. A. J. Coady, A. Giubilini and S. Sanyal, (Eds.) The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate. (Oxford: Oxford University Press): 1, pp 1-24
  • Maslen, H., (2016), 'Towards an Ethical Framework for Regulating the Market for Cognitive Enhancement Devices'. in F. Jotterand and V.Dubljevic, (Eds.)   Cognitive Enhancement: Ethical and Policy Implications in International Perspectives. (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
  • Pugh, J., Kahane, G., and Savulescu, J., (2016), 'Partiality for Humanity and Enhancement' in S. Clarke, J. Savulescu, C. A. J. Coady, A. Giubilini and S. Sanyal, (Eds.)  The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate (Oxford: Oxford University Press) 
  • Roache, R. and Savulescu, J., (2016), 'Enhancing Conservatism' in S. Clarke, J. Savulescu, C. A. J. Coady, A. Giubilini and S. Sanyal, (Eds.)  The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
  • Santoni De Seo, F., Faber, N., Savulescu, J. and Vincent, N., (2016), 'Why Less Praise for Enhanced Performance? Moving Beyond Responsibility-shifting, Authenticity, and Cheating, towards a Nature-of-Activities Approach'. in F. Jotterand and V.Dubljevic, (Eds.)   Cognitive Enhancement: Ethical and Policy Implications in International Perspectives. (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
  • Savulescu, J. and Kahane, G., (2016), 'Understanding Procreative Beneficence: The Nature and Extent of the Moral Obligation to Have the Best Child'. in L. Francis, (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reproductive Ethics. (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
  • Savulescu, J. and Maslen, H., (2015), 'Moral Enhancement and Artificial Intelligence: Moral AI?'. in J. Romportl, E. Zackova and J. Kelemen, (Eds.) Beyond Artificial Intelligence: The Disappearing Human-Machine Divide. (Springer) pp 79-95
  • Savulescu, J. (2014). 'The Nature of the Moral Obligation to Select the Best Children'. in Future of Bioethics: International Dialogues. A. Akabyashi, Ed (Oxford: Oxford University Press): Part 1 Section B (4.5), pp 170-182
  • Douglas, T., (2013), 'Enhancement, Biomedical'. in H. LaFollette, (Ed.) International Encyclopedia of Ethics. (Wiley Blackwell)
  • Sandberg, A., Sinnott-Armstrong, W. and Savulescu, J., (2012), 'The Memory of Jurors: Enhancing Trial Performance'. in L. Nadel and W. Sinnott-Armstrong, (Eds.), Oxford Series in Neuroscience, Law, and Philosophy, (New York: Oxford University Press) pp 213-232.
  • Savulescu, J., (2012), 'Enhancing Equality' in K. Lippert-Rasmussen, M. Rosendahl and J. Wamberg (eds). The Posthuman Condition: Ethics, Aesthetics and Politics of Biotechnological Challenges, (Aarhus: Aarhus University Press): 184- 203
  • Douglas, T., Harding, C., Bourne, H. and Savulescu, J. (forthcoming 2011) ‘Stem Cell Research and Same Sex Reproduction’. In Quigley, M., Chan, S. and Harris, J. (eds) Stem Cells: New Frontiers in Science and Ethics, World Scientific Press
  • Kahane, G., Savulescu, J. and Ter Meulen, R. (2011), 'Preface', in  G. Kahane, J. Savulescu and R. Ter Meulen (Eds) Enhancing Human Capacities, (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell)
  • Persson, I. and Savulescu, J. (2011), 'Unfit for the Future?  Human Nature, Scientific Progress, and the Need for Moral Enhancement', in  J. Savulescu, R. ter Meulen and G. Kahane (Eds) Enhancing Human Capacities (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell)
  • Sandberg, A., Sinnott-Armstrong, W. and Savulescu, J. (2011), 'Cognitive Enhancement in Courts', in J. Illes and B. J. Sahakian (Eds) Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics, (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
  • Sandberg, A. and Savulescu, J. (2011), 'The Social and Economic Impacts of Cognitive Enhancement', in J. Savulescu, R. Ter Meulen and G. Kahane (Eds) Enhancing Human Capacities, (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell) pp. 92-113
  • Savulescu, J. and Foddy, B. (2011) ‘Le Tour and Failure of Zero Tolerance: Time to Relax Doping Controls’. In Savulescu, J., Ter Meulen, R. and Kahane, G. (eds). Enhancing Human Capacities. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Savulescu, J., Sandberg, A. and Kahane, G. (2011) ‘Well-being and Enhancement’. In Savulescu, J., Ter Meulen, R. and Kahane, G (eds.). Enhancing Human Capacities. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Savulescu, J. and Sandberg, A. (2011) ‘The Social and Economic Impacts of Cognitive Enhancement’. In Savulescu, J., Ter Meulen, R. and Kahane, G (eds.). Enhancing Human Capacities. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Savulescu, J., Sandberg, A. and Kahane, G. (2011), 'Reasons to Feel, Reasons to Take Pills', in J. Savulescu, R. ter Meulen and G. Kahane (Eds.) Enhancing Human Capacities,Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell pp. 166-178
  • Bostrom, N., and Savulescu, J. (2009). ‘Introduction’. In Savulescu J, and Bostrom N. eds. Human Enhancement. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp 1 – 24.
  • Foddy, B. and Savulescu, J. (2009), 'Ethik der Leistungssteigerung im Sport: Medikamenten- und Gen-Doping', in B. Schone-Seifert and D. Talbot (Eds.) Enhancement: Die Ethische Debatte,Paderborn: Mentis Verlag
  • Ranisch, R. and Savulescu, J. (2009), 'Ethics and Enhancement', in N. Knoepffler and J. Savulescu (Eds.) The new man? Enhancement and Genetics,Alber Verlag.
  • Savulescu, J. (2009), 'Enhancement and Fairness', in P. Healey and S. Rayner (Eds.) Unnatural Selection: The Challenges of Engineering Tomorrow’s People London: Earthscan pp. 177- 187
  • Savulescu, J. (2009), 'Genetic Enhancement', in H. Kuhse and P. Singer (Eds.) A Companion to Bioethics: Second Edition,Oxford: Wiley- Blackwell
  • Savulescu, J. (2009), 'The Human Prejudice and the Moral Status of Enhanced Beings: What do we Owe the Gods', in J. Savulescu and N. Bostrom (Eds.) Human Enhancement,Oxford: Oxford University Press pp. 211-250
  • Savulescu, J. and Foddy, B. (2009), 'To Gattaca and Beyond', in J. Healey (Ed.) Human Genetics: Ethics & Issues,Thirroul: The Spinney Press pp. 27-28
  • Savulescu, J. and Devolder, K. (2009). ‘Therapeutic Cloning is Moral’. In D. Haugen, Musser, S., and Lovelace, K. (eds). At Issue: The Ethics of Cloning. Greenhaven Press. pp. 57 – 72. Reprinted from: Devolder, K., Savulescu, J. (2006) The Moral Imperative to Conduct Embryonic Stem Cell and Cloning Research Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics doi:10.1017/S0963180106060026
  • Savulescu, J. (2008), 'Procreative Beneficence: reasons not to have Disabled Children', in J. Thompson and L. Skene (Eds.) The Sorting Society: The Ethics of Genetic Screening and Therapy,Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Savulescu, J. (2007), 'Procreative Beneficence: Why We Should Select the Best Children', in R. Chadwick, H. Kuhse, W. A. Landman, U. Schuklenk and P. Singer (Eds.) The Bioethics Reader: Editors' Choice Malden: Blackwell Publishing pp. 434 - 446
  • Savulescu, J. (2007). ‘Beneficenza Procreativa e Disabilita’. In M. Ghisleni (ed) Bioetica Rivista Interdisciplinare. Piacenza: Casa Editrice Vicolo del Pavone. 15: pp. 56 – 64.
  • Savulescu, J. and Foddy, B. (2007), 'Ethics of Performance Enhancement in Sport: Drugs and Gene Doping', in R. E. Ashcroft, A. Dawson, H. Draper and J. R. McMillan (Eds.) Principles of Health Care Ethics,2nd, London: John Wiley & Sons Ltd pp. 511-520
  • Savulescu, J. (2007). ‘Autonomy, the Good Life, and Controversial Choices’. In Rhodes, R. Francis, L. P. and Silvers, A. (eds). The Blackwell Guide to Medical Ethics.(Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. Part 1, Chapter 1, pp. 17 – 37.
  • Savulescu, J. (2007). ‘Gene therapy, transgenesis and chimeras: is the radical genetic alteration of human beings a threat to our humanity?’ In Savulescu, J. (ed) In Quest of Ethical Wisdom: How the Practical Ethics of East and West Contribute to Wisdom. Oxford: Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. pp. 3 – 20.
  • Savulescu, J. and Foddy, B. (2006). ‘Good Sport, Bad Sport’ in Smyth, D., Brown, H., Judge, W., McCallum, C., and Pritchard, R., (eds). Live it Up 2: VCE Physical Education Units 3 and 4. 2nd Edition. Milton: John Wiley and Sons.
  • Savulescu, J. (2006). ‘Sex Selection: The Case for’. In Singer, P. and H. Kuhse (eds). Bioethics: An Anthology. Second Edition. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Savulescu, J. (2006), 'Genetic Interventions and the Ethics of Enhancement of Human Beings', in B. Steinbock (Ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Bioethics,Oxford; Oxford University Press pp. 516-535
  • Savulescu, J. (2006), 'Justice, Enhancement and Fairness', in W. Bainbridge and M. Roco (Eds.) Progess in Convergence: Technologies for Human Wellbeing,New York; New York Academy of Sciences pp. 321-338
  • Savulescu, J. (2005), 'Risk and Sport: Genetic testing and Boxing', in C. Tambourrini (Ed.) Genetic Technology in Sport,London and New York: Routledge pp. 136 - 146
  • Savulescu J. (2003). ‘The Public Interest in Embryos’. In Gunning J, Szoke, H (eds). The Regulation of Assisted Reproductive Technology Legislation. Aldershot: Ashgate. pp. 191-2002.

Special Edited Journal Issue

Forthcoming

Journal Articles

  • Devolder, K., (2019), 'Mee met het idee. Kinderen met de beste kans op het beste leven', De Maakbare Mens (12 September).
  • Levy, N., (2017), 'Is it ethical to swallow a morality pill?', CBC Radio 'The Current'(Canadian radio programme), cites 2012 paper by Terbeck, Kahane, Mctavish et al, 'Propranolol reduces implicit negative racial bias'
    listen | read transcript
  • Robillard, M., (2017), 'Enhancement of human abilities should be paired with moral education'.  The US Special Operations Command wants to create super-soldiers by pushing the human abilities beyond current limits. This is according to an agency announcement published last month. The agency is looking to enhance soldier’s abilities to tolerate pain, to recover from injuries and to adapt to hostile environments. SOCOM is hoping that academia and private sector will provide necessary support to help implement their objective. The Command is contemplating the use of nutritional supplements or even performance-enhancing drugs as a way of increasing human endurance. However, they assure that the issue of health safety is a priority in their efforts. Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Dr. Michael Robillard, Postdoctoral Researcher on Collective Responsibility and Global Terrorism at Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford. He's also the author of the forthcoming book "Who Should Die?: The Ethics of Killing in War". Podcast interview on 'soldier enhancement' for US radio show Radio Sputnik (May). 
  • Earp, B., (2016), 'Drugs to Make Us Moral' - Ross Files with Dave Ross at KIRORadio.com (Radio interview)
  • Earp, B., (2016), 'Can a drug make us more moral, and do we want that?' - Quartz (online article) 
  • Savulescu, J. et al., (2016), 'DNA Manipulation Debate', Oxford Union (July)
  • Savulescu, J., (2016), 'Ethics and genetics: opening the book of life', Podcast for The Guardian's Science Weekly (25 October)
  • Earp, B., (2015), 'Medicalization of Love'. Podcast for Smart Drug Smarts (25 September)
  • Savulescu, J., (2015), 'Interview on mitochondrial transfer', Primetime, eFM, Seoul, South Korea (6 February). 
  • Gyngell, C., Douglas, T. and Savulescu, J., (2015), 'Engineering a Consensus: Edit Embryos for Research, Not Reproduction', Oxford Martin School Blog (2 December). 
  • Savulescu, J., (2015), 'Das Gen des Trinkens', Deutschlandfunk (15 April). 
  • Savulescu, J., (2015), 'Three Ethical Ways to Increase Organ Donation in Australia', The Conversation (4 June). 
  • Savulescu, J., (2015), 'The Ethics of ‘Gifted Genes’: The Road to Gattaca', The Conversation (30 July). 
  • Savulescu, J., (2015), 'Five reasons we should embrace gene-editing research on human embryos', The Conversation (2 December). 
  • Savulescu, J., (2015), 'Oxford Professor Talks Science and Moral Behavior', The Harvard Crimson (21 October).
  • Savulescu, J. (2015). Appearance in Designer Baby, first episode of series The Perfect Human Being. Channel NPO2 (Dutch National TV)
  • Savulescu, J., (2014), 'Interview on Moral Enhancement', 774 Australia (7 December).
  • Savulescu, J., (2014), 'Are We Fit for the Future? Making the Case for Moral Bioenhancement', ABC Religion and ethics, with Ingmar Persson (24 November).
  • Savulescu, J., (2014), 'Moral Enhancement', Philosophers Arms,  BBC Radio 4 (8 September).
  • Persson, I., (2014), Video: Ingmar Persson on 'moral enhancement', recorded at 'Zukunftkongresse' in Wolfsburg, Germany (17 June).  Professor Ingmar Persson discusses themes from 'Unfit for the Future'. (17 June). Watch on 2bAHEAD website.
  • Savulescu, J., (2014), 'Interviewed on government advisor warning on increasing use of cognitive enhancement drugs', BBC Radio Oxford (8 May). 
  • Savulescu, J., (2014), 'Genetic screening to enhance IQ should be embraced', The Conversation. (26 March). 3rd most read Conversation article in March.  Reprinted in Discover Magazine: Science for the Curious (27 March).
  • Savulescu, J., (2014), 'C. S. Lewis and the Advent of the Posthuman', Evolution Views and News (19 March). 
  • Savulescu, J., (2014), 'Now drugs boost performance in the boardroom', The Sunday Times (11 January). 
  • Earp, B., Sandberg, A. and Savulescu, J., (2013), 'Chemically altering emotions to prolong relationships: Is there a case to be made to enhance the romance?' Cited in article on 'love drugs', in Winnipeg Free Press (Canada) (2 April) 
  • Earp, B., Sandberg, A. and Savulescu, J., (2013), 'Chemical seduction: How 'love drugs' may one day help couples save failing relationships'. Cited in article on 'love drugs', in The National Post (Canada) (30 March) 
  • Earp, B., (2013), ' Interview for "Q, with Jian Ghomeshi" on love drugs'. Aired on CBC Radio One in Canada and National Public Radio in the US
  • Earp, B., (2013), 'The Case for Using Drugs to Enhance Our Relationships (and Our Break-Ups)'. The Atlantic (31 January)
  • Savulescu, J., (2013). Improving People. Panel Interview with Peter Singer and Vojin Rakic. RTS TV(17 May)
  • Savulescu, J., (2013). In depth interview with Julian Savulescu for HardTalk, BBC World News (25 and 26 November)
  • Savulescu, J., (2013), 'Comment on electroceuticals', Inside Science, BBC Radio 4 (17 October).
  • Savulescu, J., (2013), 'Interview on moral enhancement and drugs in sport', Radiowaves RRR Melbourne Radio (6 October).
  • Savulescu, J., (2013). Ethical Minefield of Parents in Control. Interview with Neil McMahon, The Age. (14 September)
  • Savulescu, J., (2013), Televised debate (Belgrade) between Savulescu and John Harris on human enhancement technologies on 15 May (in English)
  • Savulescu, J., (2013), Televised debate (Belgrade) on RTS on 14 May with Peter Singer on human enhancement technologies (in Serbian)
  • Savulescu, J. (2013), TV Interview on Moral Enhancement. The Feed, SBS Two (7 May)
  • Savulescu, J. (2013), Discussion on designer babies. Al Jazeera English - The Stream (streamed online) (23 April)
  • Savulescu, J. (2013), Radio Interview on love drugs. The Current, Canadian Broadcast Corporation (14 February)
  • Savulescu, J. (2013), My Chemical Romance. Can Love Drugs Cure Divorce? The Guardian. Feature and Interview. (9 February)
  • Savulescu, J. (2013), Love Drugs Around the Corner. SvD Kultur (Sweden) (6 February)
  • Savulescu, J. (2013), Could Love Drugs Save Your Relationship? New Zealand Herald (6 February)
  • Savulescu, J. (2013), 1 February 2013. Save Your Marriage with Drugs.nymag.com (New York online news magazine) (1 February)
  • Savulescu, J., (2013), 'Sleep: The slumber generator'. New Scientist (30 January)
  • Douglas, T., (2010), 'Promise and Pitfalls of a Superhuman Future'. The Australian (8 January)
  • Foddy, B. (2012). 'The Clever Pill', Public debate at the Wellcome Collection, London (9 Feb)
  • Foddy, B. (2012). Interview for 'Monocle 24' radio regarding 'The Clever Pill' (10 Feb)
  • Sandberg, A, (2012), Interview for 'The What If Machine'. Available on GameSpot and Youtube, Anders comments ethical and practical issues of engineering 'super-soldiers' by genetically modifying humans.
  • Sandberg, A., (2012), Talk with Mark Edwards, BBC, on enhancement. (19 April)
  • Sandberg, A., (2012), Interview by email with Emma Young, Cosmos, on military applications of neuroscience. (29 March)
  • Sandberg, A., (2012), BBC Oxford radio interview on “the six million dollar man” and cyborgs. (12 March)
  • Sandberg, A., (2012), Interview for talkSPORT radio about cyborgs and immortality. (1 March)
  • Sandberg, A., (2012), Interview for Top Sante magazine about cognition enhancing drugs. (28 February )
  • Sandberg, A., (2012), Television interview for ARTE about transhumanism. (9 February)
  • Sandberg, A., (2012), Interview with James Carrigan, BBC, about bionics (19 January)
  • Sandberg, A., (2012), Radio discussion on BBC Night Waves with Angie Hobbs and Emily Sargent about athletic enhancement. (17 May )
  • Sandberg, A., (2012), Interview/talk recording for Wellcome Collection Superhuman Exhibition, on human enhancement. (16 May)
  • Sandberg, A., (2012), Interviewed by Estonian science journalist at TEDx on cognitive enhancement. (4 May)
  • Savulescu, J. and Persson, I., (2012), 'Moral Enhancement', Philosophy Now, Vol: 91 (popular article, freely available).
  • Savulescu, J., (2012), 'Technology and Human Enhancement', The Digital Human, BBC Radio 4 (22 October). 
  • Savulescu, J., (2012), 'Designer Babies Debate'. ABC Radio National Broadcast of Designer Babies Debate (IQ2) from Sydney (16 October)
  • Savulescu, J., (2012), 'Debate on Designer Babies'. Today Programme, BBC Radio 4 (18 August)
  • Savulescu, J., (2012), 'Interview on Designer Babies'. ABC Radio (9 October)
  • Savulescu, J., (2012), 'Designer Babies'. SBS Insight (Australian TV) (9 October)
  • Savulescu, J., (2012), 'Should We Decide What Breed of Humans to Create?' The Punch (9 October)
  • Savulescu, J., (2012), 'Interview on Designer Babies'. ABC 702 Radio (19 September)
  • Savulescu, J., (2012), 'There’s Nothing Nazi, or Nasty About Genetic Selection'. The Punch (18 September)
  • Savulescu, J., (2012), 'Debate on Designer Babies'. ABC Radio (17 September)
  • Savulescu, J., (2012), 'Designer Babies'. Talk Radio Europe (Spain) (31 August)
  • Savulescu, J., (2012), 'Designer Babies'. BBC Radio Oxford (28 August)
  • Savulescu, J., (2012), 'Genetically engineering 'ethical' babies is a moral obligation, says Oxford professor '. The Telegraph (16 August)
  • Savulescu, J., (2012). Debate: Enhancing Morality, with John Harris, chaired by Vassili Christodoulou, How The Light Gets In Festival, Hay on Wye (19 June)
  • Savulescu, J., (2012). Summer on Radio National Science - Immortality... Reality?ABC Radio National (22 January)
  • Douglas, T., (2011), '‘De onde vem o mal?’ [Where does evil come from?’]'. Galileu (Brazilian science and technology magazine) (July)
  • Douglas, T., (2011), 'The Ethics of Morality Altering Drugs'. Radio Interview, CBC Radio (Canada) (21 April)
  • Savulescu, J., (2011), 'The Moral Obligation to Improve’'. Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival. Broadcast on Radio 3 November 15. The Sage, Gateshead.
  • Savulescu, J., (2011). Medicine, Genetic Technology and Immortality, Panel Session organised by RiAus. Chaired by Paul Willis, RiAus Director, with panellists Fiona Wood and Brad Partridge, Adelaide Festival of Ideas, Adelaide (8 October)
  • Savulescu, J., (2011). Podcast interview discussing ‘designer babies’ to launch Bio-Ethics Bites, a new series of 10 interviews with leading influential figures tackling controversial subjects arising out of recent scientific advances. (1 June)
  • Savulescu, J., (2011), 'Moral Enhancement'. Audio interview by Nigel Warburton (18 May)
  • Sandberg, A. (2011), BBC5 radio interview on cognitive enhancement (9 November)
  • Sandberg, A. (2011), TV interview in BBC Newsnight on cognitive enhancement (9 November)
  • Sandberg, A. (2011), 'The dope on mental enhancement', Interviewed by Susan Watts for New Scientist (11 November) http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21157-the-dope-on-mental-enhancement.html
  • Sandberg, A. (2011), Participated in online chat about the film documentary 'Transhuman' (30 June) www.transhumandoc.com/discussion/
  • Sandberg, A. (2011), Premiere of Dutch documentary 'Transhuman', De La Mar Theatre Amsterdam (26 June) http://www.transhumandoc.com/news/nieuwsitem/artikel/anders-sandberg-is-coming-to-amsterdam/
  • Sandberg, A. (2011), Radio interview for Radio Cambridgshire on cognitive enhancement (20 March )
  • Savulescu, J. (2011). Moral Enhancement. Audio interview by Nigel Warburton (May)
  • Savulescu, J. 14 February 2011, interviewed on 2UE News Talk morning programme, on the widely-followed Sydney Talk Radio in response to Sunday Herald Sun article below.
  • Savulescu, J. 14 February 2011, interviewed on ‘The Steve Price Breakfast Program’, on the popular Melbourne Talk Radio network, in response to Sunday Herald Sun article below.
  • Savulescu, J. 7 February 2011, invited article in the Guardian in response to ‘How should the state regulate reproductive technologies?’ Part of the Guardian’s ‘The Question’ series.
  • Savulescu, J. (2011), A leading Australian ethicist has advocated genetically screening embryos to create a smarter society of superior "designer babies" with higher IQs. Sunday Herald Sun (13 February) http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/only-breed-smart-babies-ethicist/story-fn6bfkm6-1226005105129
  • Savulescu, J. (2011), Interviewed on ‘The Current’, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) current affairs programme, discussing the ethics of plastic surgery for teens and children. (18 May)
  • Douglas, T., (2010), 'Promise and Pitfalls of a Superhuman Future'. The Australian (8 January)
  • Savulescu, J. (2010), Feature article interview on human enhancement in ‘Sekret Firmy’ , high-profile Russian business magazine (November) http://www.kommersant.ru/Doc/1526010
  • Savulescu, J. (2010), 'Bioethics and Human Enhancement: an Interview with Julian Savulescu',Feature article in Dilemata No. 3 (June)    http://www.dilemata.net/revista/index.php/dilemata/article/viewArticle/32/47
  • Savulescu, J. (2010), interviewed by Nigel Warburton discussing ‘designer babies’ for upcoming Bio-Bites series of 10 interviews in which leading thinkers on bioethics tackle controversial subjects arising out of recent scientific advances. Interview to be broadcast shortly on Philosophy Bites and several other internet websites. Other Bio-Bites interviewees are likely to include Baroness Mary Warnock, Leon Kass (Advisor to President Bush’s Council on Bioethics), Michael Sandel (of Harvard University, former Reith Lecturer and author of The Case Against Perfection) and John Harris (Lord Alliance Professor of Bioethics).
  • Savulescu, J. (2010), Ethical Aspects of Enhancement. Interview broadcast live on ‘The Naked Scientists: Science Radio’, an award winning BBC weekly radio programme run by physicians and researchers from Cambridge University (21 November)
  • Savulescu, J. (2010), Appeared on ‘Forum’, renowned BBC World Service radio programme. Special recording at the Science Museum, London as part of its ‘Late’ series, discussing how our identity is shaped by genetics and moral imperatives to enhance. (4 July)
  • Savulescu, J. (2010), Business Voice. Interviewed about social and business impacts of biomedical enhancements.
  • Savulescu, J. 16 September 2010, interviewed on ‘One Plus One’, highly-respected national ABC News 24 television show, by programme host Jane Hutcheon
  • Savulescu, J. August 2010, ‘Change Makers: Meet eight Innovators, Inspirers and Thinkers who want to shape a different world’, AFR BOSS magazine on leadership and management published in the Australian Financial Review, feature article as one of the eight individuals highlighted.
  • Savulescu, J. August 2010, ‘Enhancing the Lives of children: How far should we go?’, Abortion Review, quoted in article on Royal Society of Medicine Conference
  • Savulescu, J. 14 July 2010, broadcast of interview by Richard Dawkins for BBC Radio 4 ‘The Age of the Genome’, very high-profile three part series presented by Dawkins about the science of genomes and resulting ethical issues http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00ssmcp
  • Savulescu, J. (2010), Guest on Talk Radio Europe ‘Maurice Boland: The Mid Morning Show’ discussing a new genetic test which can give individuals their odds of reaching the age of 100 (8 July)
  • Savulescu, J. (2010), Will you live to 100? Scientists pinpoint 19 markers that tell you if you will have a long life. Daily Mail (2 July) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1291242/That-genetic-test-predicts-live-100-Scientists-pinpoint-19-markers-long-life.html
  • Savulescu, J. 7 July 2010, interviewed on ‘Newshour’, high-profile BBC World Service radio programme, concerning drugs in sport, with a focus on cycling.
  • Savulescu, J. 3-4 July 2010, ‘Welcome to the New Ice Age’, Weekend Australian, interviewed for the article and extensively quoted.
  • Savulescu, J. 14 June-1 July 2010 led the University of Oxford Online Debate proposing the motion: Performance enhancing drugs should be allowed in sport: raise the bar or draw the line?’ Published Opening Statement (14 June), Update 1 (17 June), Update 2 (24 June) and Closing Statement (1 July). The debate proved very popular and the public posted comments throughout the debate which closed with a public vote (5-9 July). www.ox.ac.uk/debates
  • Savulescu, J. ‘Academic focus: Professor Julian Savulescu’, featured in ‘Oxford in Westminster’, June 2010
  • Savulescu, J. 1 June 2010, interviewed on ‘Radio Planet – The World We Will Live In’, Radio Romania, about artificial life and other research interests.
  • Savulescu, J. 16 February 2010, ‘Banning Performance-Enhancing Drugs Neither Ensures Fair Play Nor Protects Athletes’ Health’, The Vancouver Sun. Reports on J. Savulescu’s research on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport.
  • Savulescu, J. Cover feature article in Summer 2009/10 issue of Praxis (2009/2010 issue), Monash University alumni magazine, celebrating J. Savulescu as an international leader in the field of bioethics.
  • Savulescu, J. 29 November 2009, a guest on ‘The Forum’, widely-respected BBC World Service radio programme featuring leading thinkers from disparate fields. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p004kln9/episodes/player
  • Savulescu, J. Oxford Today, University of Oxford magazine (Michaelmas issue 2009), ‘Woe, Superman’ article featuring interview with J. Savulescu
  • Savulescu, J. September 20 2009, ‘Perfect to a Fault’, The Age. Reports on J. Savulescu’s research on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport.
  • Savulescu, J. 1 September 2009, “The Age of Enhancement”, Prospect. Reports on Julian Savulescu’s research on love drugs.
  • Savulescu, J. 19 August 2009, “Enhanced Brains Say Know to Drugs”, The Australian. Reports on J. Savulescu’s research on love drugs
  • Savulescu, J. 13 July 2009, “Genetic Discovery Stirs IVF Debate”, The Australian. Quotes Julian Savulescu http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,25769320-23289,00.html
  • Savulescu, J. 1 July 2009, “Gallery: Weekend Australian Magazine's Next 10”, The Australian
  • Savulescu, J. 26 June 2009, “Julian Savulescu on 'Fitter, Faster, Future”, True Tube (educational videos online) videocast on drugs in sport
  • Savulescu, J. 18 June 2009, “Leaders of Tomorrow are Acknowledged Today”, The Australian. Article Announcing Julian Savulescu's Top Emerging Thinker Award. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25653002-5013871,00.html
  • Savulescu, J. 17 June 2009, “PM Endorses Emerging Leaders Awards for Encouraging Young Australians”, The Australian http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,25649833-5012694,00.html
  • Savulescu, J. 17 June 2009, Rudd Names 10 Emerging Leaders”, The Australian http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,25649698-5012694,00.html
  • Savulescu, J. (2009), Applied Ethics and Human Enhancement. Interview with Oliver Lewis for University of Oxford podcast (12 September) http://media.podcasts.ox.ac.uk/oucs/oxonian_interviews/savulescu_interview.mp3?CAMEFROM=podcastsGET
  • Savulescu, J. (2009), Julian Savulescu on'I want to be a superhero'. True Tube (educational videos online) (8 July)
  • Savulescu, J. (2009), Unfit for Life:Genetically Enhance Humanity or Face Extinction SlowTV online broadcast of Sydney Festival of Dangerous Ideas presentation (October) http://tinyurl.com/ykhgrbc
  • Savulescu, J. (2009), In your genes. Insight TV programme, discussing genetic testing http://news.sbs.com.au/insight/episode/index/id/136#watchonline
  • Savulescu, J., Kuriloff, A. and Eichelberger, C. (2008), Unfair May Be Fair as Genetics Conflate Steroids (Interviewed 25/02/08) http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601079&sid=afCYrPjlxsa0&refer=home
  • Savulescu, J. (2008), Changing the Nature of Human Beings. Sydney http://www.smh.com.au/news/science/this-man-advocates-cloning-anddrugs-in-sport/2008/08/09/1218139179842.html
  • Savulescu, J. (2008), The Moral Maze- 'Whose Baby Is It Anyway'. (12 March 2008)http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/religion/moralmaze.shtml
  • Savulescu, J. 18 June 2009, Gallery, 10 Emerging Leaders, The Australian http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/gallery/0,26637,5057990-601-6,00.html
  • Savulescu, J. 18 June 2009, Leaders of Tomorrow are Endorsed Today, The Australian http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,25653002-5013404,00.html
  • Savulescu, J. 17 June 2009, PM Endorses Emerging Leaders Awards for Encouraging Young Australians, The Australian http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,25649833-2702,00.html
  • Savulescu, J. 17 June 2009, Rudd Names 10 Emerging Leaders, The Australian. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25649698-601,00.html
  • Savulescu, J. Tue 16 June/ Sat 20 June 2009 Morality in Politics, Michael Sandel, Reith Lecture, BBC Radio 4, Invited Question
  • Savulescu, J. 17 February 2009, The War Against Ageing, ABC Unleashed Opinion Piece by Julian Savulescu, Aubrey de Grey and Nick Bostrom.
  • Savulescu, J. 12 February 2009. Where Next for Human Evolution? MSN Online Quotes Professor Savulescu http://environment.uk.msn.com/green-living/article.aspx?cp-documentid=13644697
  • Savulescu, J. 14 December. The Dilemma of Pills that Boost Brain Power, The Toronto Star, Report on debate given at Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting November 08. http://www.thestar.com/News/article/553476
  • Savulescu, J. 3 December 2008. Spotless Minds. ABC Unleashed Opinion Piece by Anders Sandberg, Julian Savulescu, Matthew Liao.
  • Savulescu, J. 12 November, Breeding Perfect Babies, ABC Unleashed Opinion Piece, http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2410729.htm
  • Savulescu, J. 27 October 2008, Death Fiction and Taking Organs from the Living, ABC Unleashed Opinion Piece with Dominic Wilkinson http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2401933.htm
  • Savulescu, J. 05 October 2008, The Edge of Ethics, JS Interview with Peder Zane, Raleigh News & Observer newspaper in North Carolina, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2008/Oct/08/at_the_edge_of_ethics.html
  • Savulescu, J. (2008) Enough Rope, ABC TV, half-hour long interview with Andrew Denton, http://www.abc.net.au/tv/enoughrope/ and many subsequent repeats. Enough Rope is the highest rating programme on ABC, the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s major public channel. On this programme, I appeared with Nigella Lawson. Video and transcript is available at http://www.abc.net.au/tv/enoughrope/transcripts/s2374638.htm.
  • Savulescu, J. 01 September 2008, Baby the Wrong Gender? Abort it, Says Expert, The Australian. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,24273462-5006785,00.html
  • Savulescu, J., Letter responding to 'Bolt Can Become Greatest Sprinter Ever', in Evening Standard. 2008: London. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/article-23542342-details/Bolt+can+become+greatest+ever/article.do
  • Savulescu, J. 15 August 2008, The Right to a Level Playing Field, Radio Netherlands World Wide. Quotes Professor Savulescu on Drugs in Sport. And Radio Netherlands Worldwide Podcast interviewing JS on Drugs in Sport
    http://download1b.omroep.nl/fbb8b0280fbc57da1c502f2c29e71450/48a93908/rnw/smac/cms/tswi_080815_sports_mp3_en_080815_44_1kHz.mp3
  • Savulescu, J. 10 August 2008, Changing the Nature of Human Beings, Sydney Morning Herald, Interview on human enhancement, http://www.smh.com.au/news/science/this-man-advocates-cloning-anddrugs-in-sport/2008/08/09/1218139179842.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1
  • Savulescu, J. 7 August 2008, Savulescu, J. and W. Ingdahl, Synen på dopning behöver förnyas, in GÖTEBORGS-POSTEN 2008. http://www.gp.se/gp/jsp/Crosslink.jsp?d=114&a=437210
  • Savulescu, J. 4 August 2008, Science Weekly: magic, the brain and doping at the Olympics, Guardian.co.uk Podcast
  • Savulescu, J. 30 July 2008, Ein Verbot von Doping funktioniert nicht, Tages Anzeiger. Interview with Professor Savulescu on Drugs in Sport
  • Savulescu, J. 19 July 2008, Let Them Take Drugs: The Safe Ones, The Times. Interview with Julian Savulescu on Drugs in Sport. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article4359068.ece
  • Savulescu, J. 30 April 2008, Unfair May Be Fair as Genetics Conflate Steroids (Correct), Bllomberg.com quoted extensively from interview with Aaron Kuriloff http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601079&sid=afCYrPjlxsa0&refer=home
  • Savulescu, J. 11 March 2008, tamilstar.com, Is It Wrong to Select a Deaf Embryo?, Quotes Professor Julian Savulescu
  • Savulescu, J. 10 March 2008, Interview with BBC journalist to discuss selection of deaf embryos. Quoted in ‘’Is It Wrong to Select a Deaf Embryo’, 10 March 2008 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7287508.stm
  • Savulescu, J. 15 February 2008, Interview on Drugs in Sport, BBC South Today (TV)
  • Savulescu, J. 27 January 2008, Game of Life, The Age, Article on stem cells, cloning and human-animal cybrid embryos, quoting Professor Savulescu
  • Savulescu, J. 21 January 2008, More Debate Coverage, Free Market News Network- report on Intelligence Squared Debate on performance enhancing drugs in sport http://www.freemarketnews.com/Linked-Commentary.asp?nid=9241
  • Savulescu, J. 20 January 2008, Debating Drug Use in Sport, Charleston Daily Mail, report on Intelligence Squared Debate on performance enhancing drugs in sport, http://www.dailymail.com/Sports/200801200275
  • Savulescu, J. 19 January 2008, Intellectual Juicing, The American Spectator, report on Intelligence Squared Debate on performance Enhancing Drugs in Sport January 2008.
  • Savulescu, J. 19 January 2008, Public Affairs: Intelligence Squared Brings Oxford Union Debating to the land of Loudmouths, The Globe and Mail USA, report on Intelligence Squared Debate on performance Enhancing Drugs in Sport January 2008.
  • Savulescu, J. 16 January 2008, Intelligence Squared Debate Audience Agrees with Dick Pound, Dale Murphy and George Michael to Keep Steroid Ban in Sports: But Pro-Steroid Arguments Sway Large Segment of Voters at First Debate of Spring 2008 Season, Intelligence Squared News release, http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/01-16-2008/0004737629&EDATE=
  • Savulescu, J. 6 January 2008, ABC Background Briefing, Edited version of Julian Savulescu’s Sydney Ideas Lecture, ‘Stronger, Smarter, Nicer Humans’ (Radio). Online at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/backgroundbriefing/stories/2008/2122476.htm with transcripts.  MP3.
  • Savulescu, J. January 2008, Oxford Interactions: Debate in the Public Domain Promotes Rational Decisions(Interview with Julian Savulescu), Oxford Blueprint Magazine
  • Savulescu, J. (2008), Debate addresses whether sports should allow performance-enhancing drugs Report on Intelligence Squared Debate on Performance Enhancing drugs Jan 15, New York (16 January 2008) http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/20080115-1839-dopingdebate.html
  • Savulescu, J. (2008), Coverage of Intelligence Squared Debate on Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sport Jan 08.

YOUTUBE: The Practical Ethics Video Series makes the most important and complex debates in practical ethics accessible to a wide audience through brief interviews with high profile philosophers in Oxford.  Video interviews on this and other topics can be found on our YouTube channel.

Pugh, J., (2019), 'BBC The Big Questions: 'Is it right to design babies?'', OUC Research Fellow, Dr Jonathan Pugh, participated in a debate 'Is it right to design babies?' for BBC1's The Big Questions, which ranged from ethical considerations of gene-editing technologies to NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing).  Dr Pugh referenced the Nuffield Council on Bioethics report and discussed the need to balance the expected future well-being of children against the reproductive autonomy of parents.  Series 12 Episode 2 aired on 13 January 2019 and is available on iPlayer until 10 February 2019 (Dr Pugh's contribution appears at approx 18:40 on the clock).  Hosted by Nicky Campbell, 'The Big Questions' is a series of moral, ethical and religious debates. (13 January 2019).

Savulescu, J., (2017), Podcast for The Conversation, 'Speaking with: Julian Savulescu on the ethics of genetic modification in humans', What if humans are genetically unfit to overcome challenges like climate change and the growing inequality that looks set to define our future? (17 July).  http://theconversation.com/speaking-with-julian-savulescu-on-the-ethics-of-genetic-modification-in-humans-78249

Staicu, L. and Socaciua, E., (2017), 'The rise of postmedicine: some ethical concerns regarding biomedical technology; How Drug Patents Might Lead to Disincentives for Moral Bioenhancement', Erasmus Exchange Public Event: Double Seminar on Biomedical Technology and Moral Bioenhancement (30 May)

Savulescu, J., (2016) 'No pain, no praise: motivational enhancement and the meaning of life'.  MT16 Oxford-Valencia Neuroethics Workshop, Oxford Martin School (14 November) 

Gyngell, C., (2015), ''The case for genetically engineered babies' and accompanying podcast 'Should we genetically engineer humans?'', The Guardian (1 May). Article | Podcast

Savulescu, J., (2014). 'Making nice: Julian Savulescu and the case for moral bioenhancement'.  Philosopher and bioethicist Julian Savulescu joins host Peter Mares for a conversation on the potential for moral bioenhancement through direct brain stimulation, pharmacology or genetics, and the ethical implications of such interventions.  Up Close is an online, audio talk show of research, opinion and analysis, presented in English, from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Audio (MP3) |  Transcript

Erler, A., (2013), Sleep and Opportunity for Well-being (paper co-authored by David Birks and delivered at HT13 Uehiro Seminars in Practical Ethics) http://media.philosophy.ox.ac.uk/uehiro/HT13US_ERL.mp3

Savulescu, J., (2013). Pills that improve morality. TEDxBarcelona. (23 July)

Savulescu, J., (2012), Making Better Babies, Pro and Con. A Debate with Rob Sparrow http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/bioethics/--downloads/better-babies-debate-october-2012.mp3

Papers

Media

In November 2018, Chinese researcher Jiankui He of Shenzhen announced that he had gene-edited two healthy embryos using CRISPR-Cas9 technology, which resulted in the birth of twin baby girls.  He claims to have edited a gene to make the babies resistant to HIV, although one of the girls has both copies of the gene modified while the other has only one (making her still susceptible to HIV).  Addressing the ethical concerns surrounding this claim, OUC Researchers have responded in blog posts and media interviews:

Blogs

TV and radio interviews

Devolder, K., (2018), Interviewed by Julian Worricker for BBC World Service Weekend episode 'The 80th Anniversary of the Kindertransport'. Dr Devolder discusses the ethical concerns surrounding Prof. Jiankui He's controversial gene-editing experiments (the gene-edited embryos resistant to HIV).  Dr Devolder's contribution appears at 39:00 on the clock - available on iPlayer until 30 December.  (2 December).

27 November. Interview with Julian Savulescu, ABC News (Australia) on birth of first gene edited babies.  

28 November 2018. Oxford bioethics expert: Gene editing itself is right, but healthy embryos should not take risks. Interview with Julian Savulescu on the case.  Jiemian News. Savulescu (in Chinese)

Quotes

Other media

Gyngell, C., Douglas, T. and Savulescu, J., (2015), 'Engineering a Consensus: Edit Embryos for Research, Not Reproduction', Oxford Martin School Blog (2 December). 

Savulescu, J., (2015), 'Five reasons we should embrace gene-editing research on human embryos', The Conversation (2 December).

Gyngell, C., (2015), ''The case for genetically engineered babies' and accompanying podcast 'Should we genetically engineer humans?'', The Guardian (1 May). Article | Podcast

List of site pages