Summer Fellows

John Basl

John recently received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and will be taking up an assistant professorship at Bowling Green State University in the fall. During the summer fellowship he is working on two projects. The first, “Sensitivity Enhancement in Non-Human Research Subjects,” focuses on ethical issues that arise when testing cognitive enhancement technologies on non-human research subjects. The second, “What We Owe to Transhumans,” done in partnership with Ronald Sandler, focuses on the possibility and implications of significantly enhancing the core cognitive capacities of humans. John will present work developed under the fellowship at the Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology, as well as at the 2011 Workshop in Applied Philosophy at Northeastern University.

David Faraci

David is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy at Bowling Green State University. His fellowship project, titled “Do Property Rights Presuppose Scarcity?”, examines the relationship between scarcity and property in order to assess the claim that it precludes the possibility of justified intellectual property rights.

Matt Kopec

Matt is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy at University of Wisconsin – Madison. His project is titled “DNA Ancestry and the New Racial Profiling” and examines the evidential and ethical issues surrounding the use of DNA ancestry profiling in forensics. Related to this project, he has presented work at the Episteme 2011 conference hosted by the Center for Formal Epistemology at Carnegie Mellon University and the Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology.

Noah Levin

Noah is a Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy at Bowling Green State University and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Washington State University. His project, “Genetic Discrimination and Genetic Exceptionalism”, examines the recent laws and literature on genetic discrimination. The project’s aim is to develop an account what would constitute wrongful genetic discrimination as well as identify grounds for the reasonable and justified use of genetic factors in decision-making processes.

Patrick Smith

Patrick is a doctoral candidate at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he will be taking up a research position at the Program on Values in Society in 2011-12. Patrick’s research focuses on global justice and institutional responses to international and intergenerational domination. During this summer fellowship he is working on a project that will apply the concept of intergenerational domination to geoengineering.

Valentina Urbanek

Valentina Urbanek (Ph.D., MIT) is a lecturer in philosophy at Tufts University. Her summer research attempts to delineate the limits of procreative liberty. To that end, she is engaged in two projects involving the ethics of emerging technologies that enable parents to control the traits of their children. The first investigates whether parents have an obligation to have enhanced children—e.g. children with superior intelligence, strength, or memory. The second investigates whether it is morally permissible for parents to select the sex of their children.