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Carbon nanotubes and ethical analysis

New PhD fellow in nanoethics at the Centre for Bioethics and Nanoethics

From May 1st Anna Julie Rasmussen has commenced her PhD project on nanoethics at the Centre for Bioethics and Nanoethics. Julie is 25 years old and finished her MSc in nanoscience from Aarhus University in September 2010.

Julie did her graduate work in molecular biology and her Master's thesis had the titel ’Toxicity and ethical considerations of nanoparticles’ and was a project combining scientific work in the laboratory with a case study in ethics. Julie worked at the Institute of Environmental and Occupational Medicine with Professor Herman Autrup as her supervisor.

In her PhD project she will combine scientific background with a studies in ethics. The study will be a thorough scientific review of the properties and applications of carbon nanotubes and an ethical analysis of the use of these carbon nanotubes in different areas of science and technology. This analysis will also consists of a thorough and critical analysis of the four bioethical principles developed by philosopher and bioethicist Tom L. Beauchamp and philosopher and theologian James F. Childress.

The background for working in the interface between natural science and ethics is Julie's interest in both sides of nanotechnology and that the interface between the two disciplines is fascinating. Ehics is an important part of the research in nanoscience and it is important to have a academic understanding of both the natural science and the ethics to be able to communicate with both sides and thus provide a dialogue between researchers from the two very different disciplines.

Besides her interest in the interface between natural science and ethics Julie has a great interest in knowledge dissemination and communication and she hopes to include this as part of her future work.