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Tom Douglas

Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Tom Douglas is a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford and a Junior Research Fellow at Balliol College. He works in applied ethics, neuroethics and moral and political philosophy.

Tom initially trained as a medical doctor at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He then moved to Oxford to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics before completing a DPhil in Philosophy. He took up his current post in 2010.

Much of Tom's research has focused on the use of biomedical technologies to achieve social objectives that have normally been thought to lie beyond the proper scope of medicine. For example, he has written on the ethics of moral enhancement: the use medical technologies morally improve human motives or conduct. He has also worked on the ethics of creating dangerous biomedical knowledge, such as knowledge that could be used to produce biological weapons or to covertly manipulate people's minds. In moral theory, Tom’s main interests are in the structure of moral status, the determinants of moral worth, and tensions between special obligations and distributive fairness.

From October 2013 Tom will lead a Wellcome Trust-funded project on the ethics of using medical interventions to prevent criminal offending.