Alex McKeown, M.A.
Alex McKeown, M.A. lives in London, and is a Ph.D. student within
the Centre for Ethics in
Medicine at the University
of Bristol, carrying out ethics research into dual-use applications
of synthetic biology and neurobionics. His work focuses on the
application of these technologies both within a clinical context and for
enhancement, examining how they may affect the definition of “normal
functioning” and our understanding of it.
Prior to starting his Ph.D., Alex earned a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Healthcare Ethics from the University of Leeds. For his MA thesis, Alex carried out research into the ethics of human reproductive cloning. After completing his MA, he spent three years working in clinical ethics research at Genetic Alliance UK (the UK’s national charity for all people affected by genetic disease), coordinating a 0.5m Euro pan-European research project funded by the European Commission for Life Sciences and Biotechnology. The aim of the project was to assist in raising literacy about genetic testing and DNA banking amongst patients and health professionals across the continent.
Alex has given talks at several international conferences including the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics, the joint Roche / European Genetic Alliances Network annual workshop, the Central and Eastern European Genetics Network, and the annual Central European Summit for Pre-Conception Health and the Prevention of Birth Defects.
Alex is a regular contributor to h+ Magazine. He has also written a number of articles in newsletters for European patient groups, and coauthored a chapter in Quality Issues in Clinical Genetic Services (Springer, 2010).
His research interests lie in the philosophical implications of developments in human bioscience and biotechnology for example, how the application of these may affect the ontological status of the human species, and what the social and ethical challenges will be for policy development as these technologies proliferate.
Alex authored From Sight to Synesthesia: What Happens when the Senses can be Rewired?, Prosthetics: From Functionality to Self-Modification, and VR Rehab & A Clockwork Orange.
In between studying and working, Alex has spent the past decade DJing and producing electronic music. He has played extensively across the UK and internationally, with notable appearances including Womb in Tokyo, the UK’s Glastonbury Festival, and the Lake of Stars Festival in Malawi. You can listen to some of his productions and releases here: http://soundcloud.com/mcqueen. (This is great dance music!)