Professional Bio

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Hugh Desmond is a research fellow at the Leibniz University of Hannover and Assistant Professor at the University of Antwerp. He received his PhD from the KU Leuven, and has held research and visiting positions at the Paris I-Sorbonne, KU Leuven, Princeton University, New York University, and the Hastings Center. His work centers on the philosophy and ethics of science and technology, with particular emphasis on biology.

 

 

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Hugh Desmond is a research fellow at the Leibniz University of Hannover and Assistant Professor at the University of Antwerp. He received his PhD from the KU Leuven, and has held research and visiting positions at the Paris I-Sorbonne, KU Leuven, Princeton University, New York University, and the Hastings Center. 

 

He has a strongly interdisciplinary background, with degrees in physics and mathematics (KU Leuven) as well as music performance (Royal Conservatory of Brussels; Conservatory of Paris). He did undergraduate research at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, has won prizes at international soloist competitions (Padova), and pursues a side career as a concert master and chamber musician in Flanders.  

 

His work centers on the philosophy and ethics of science, with particular emphasis on biology. Topics he works on in general philosophy and ethics of science are: scientific explanation and methodology, trust in science, scientific integrity, the politicization of science, ethics of technology, scientific professionalism. In the philosophy and ethics of biology, he is interested in Darwinism, the causal structure of natural selection, evolutionary progress, human nature, and human enhancement. He has also been working towards also reconceiving the role that agency plays in evolutionary theory.

 

He has co-edited volumes Human Success (Oxford UP) and Evolutionary thinking Across Disciplines (Springer), and has published 27 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in the top journals in philosophy of science and applied ethics, including Philosophy of Science, Bioethics, Biology and Philosophy, BMC Biomedical Ethics, Science and Engineering Ethics, Synthese, and Erkenntnis. 

 

Hugh is a founding member of the Darwinism Network (www.darwinism.network) and the the Embassy of Good Science (www.embassy.science/). He is co-PI on the FWO-funded project on Professionalism in Science (196.000 euro) together with Kris Dierickx.