Dr G. Owen Schaefer
AB, BPhil, DPhil
Contact No. : 6516 2056
Owen Schaefer joined CBmE in August 2015 under the MOH-funded initiative, Clinical Ethics Network + Research Ethics Support (CENTRES). He helps manage the training and outreach programs for clinical and research ethicists under CENTRES and engages in research into various topics in research ethics. He also runs the CENTRES blog and Twitter account.
Before beginning his graduate work, Owen spent two years at the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health in the US as a pre-doctoral fellow. There, he received training in research ethics, was involved in the department’s ethics consultation service, and published several academic articles. He then went on to read for BPhil and DPhil degrees in philosophy at Oxford, writing a dissertation on moral enhancement. Immediately prior to joining the CBmE, he spent a year as a post-doc at the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics researching the implications of various novel biotechnologies.
Owen’s research interests cover a wide array of topics in applied ethics, including research ethics, genetics, enhancement, neuroethics, stem cell studies, synthetic meat, and assisted reproduction. He is currently Project Coordinator for an HSS Seed Grant on Ethics Policy in Precision Genomics. The project involves gathering local stakeholder perspectives on incidental findings and data sharing, then using those results to inform consensus policies on the study’s subject areas.
Other ongoing projects include an analysis of when incidental findings should be reported; exploration of research ethics norms in emergency situations; individuals’ obligations to provide their personal data for research; and justifications (or lack thereof) for blanket bans on germline genetic modifications.
Owen’s primary teaching duties are on the CENTRES project, where he assists in organizing workshops and conferences on research, clinical and transplant ethics for professionals. This includes selecting topics for discussion, developing case materials, giving lectures and facilitating discussion groups. He is currently serving as an Organising Committee Member for the International Conference on Clinical Ethics Consultation 2017, hosted by the Centre for Biomedical Ethics.
He also provides ad hoc teaching assistance for the HeLP course and other CBmE educational activities. For AY2016-17, he is leading tutorial groups for HeLP phases I, II and V.