Researcher at the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB)
Uppsala University is an international research university focused on the development of science and education. Our most important assets are all the individuals who with their curiosity and their dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting work places. Uppsala University has 40,000 students, 7,000 employees and a turnover of SEK 6,5 billion.
The Neuroethics and Philosophy group at CRB is part of The European Commission (EC) Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship, the Human Brain Project (HBP). The HBP aims to put in place a cutting-edge, ICT-based scientific research infrastructure for brain research, cognitive neuroscience and brain-inspired computing.
The Neuroethics group is in charge of analysing the conceptual underpinnings and implications of HBP research, and of identifying and articulating philosophical, ethical, notably neuroethical, issues raised by such research.
One of the Tasks focuses on philosophical and ethical challenges of modelling cognitive processes in silica:
Problem-oriented computer simulations of specific systems and functions of the brain are extensively used to test predictions, validate conclusions and models, and to guide hypothesis driven experiments and new models at various levels of analysis. Rapid advancements in neuroscience and in computing draw increasing attention to large-scale brain simulations, including the modelling of cognitive processes in silica.
These attempts raise numerous philosophical and ethical challenges that are explored in this Task
We are exploring those that revolve around the notions of consciousness, self, and identity, and dual use. Regarding consciousness, we are exploring questions such as: how to understand the relationship between brain activity and consciousness; how useful the method of brain simulation can be for explaining consciousness; whether and how the prospective simulation of consciousness could be clinically relevant (e.g., for assessing and caring people unable to verbally communicate, like comatose patients and infants); and whether consciousness could be achieved via simulation. Regarding identity, some of the issues to be explored are whether and how brain knowledge can unpack our understanding of the human mind, the self and identity; what cerebral features specifically characterise human identity; whether the notion of identity itself is threatened by neuroscientific advances, and the extent to which clinical applications of neuroscientific advances (such as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), or Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI),) might change the identity of users. The examination of these issues is not only theoretically and ethically valuable; it is also clinically relevant. Regarding dual use, we contribute conceptual analyses of the core issues in the HBP-related discussions of dual use.
(1) Collaborate in research as described above.
(2) Write articles, reports / other academic texts.
(3) Participate in HBP-meetings.
(4) Give talks at conferences.
Doctoral degree: either in philosophy, or in social or natural science.
Documented knowledge and interest in both philosophy and social & natural science.
Publications in international peer reviewed journals.
Experience in presenting results in academic meetings.
Fluency in written and spoken English.
Uppsala University aims for gender balance and diversity in all activities in order to achieve a higher quality at all levels of the organization. We therefore welcome applicants of any gender and with different birth background, functionality and life experience.
Pay: Individual salaries.
Starting: 2017-02-01 or as otherwise agreed.
Type of employment: Temporary position ending 2018-03-31 (renewable).
Working hours: 50 % (maximum)
For further information about the position please contact
Kathinka Evers: firstname.lastname@example.org
You are welcome to submit your application no later than 2017-01-12, UFV-PA 2016/3045
We decline offers of recruitment and advertising help. We only accept the application the way described in the advertisement.
Placement: Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences
Type of employment: Part-time , Temporary position longer than 6 months
Pay: Fixed pay
Number of positions: 1
Working hours: 50%
County: Uppsala län
Marie Ols, TCO/ST
Per Sundman, Saco-rådet 018-471 1485
Stefan Djurström, Seko 018-471 3315
Number of reference: UFV-PA 2016/3045
Last application date: 2017-01-12