Centre for the Study of Contemporary Solidarity (CeSCoS)

Making a difference through the study and practice of solidarity

Mission Statement:

The concept of solidarity can help to address the most pressing challenges that our societies are facing today. Rather than being a ‘feel-good’ notion or a concept of the past, we use solidarity as a structuring principle for practices and institutions. Our research - through empirically solid and conceptually rich work - seeks to contribute to the development and policies and institutions that harness and support people’s willingness to support others, increase social justice, and help to create the political and economic circumstances that allow people and societies to flourish. We act in the firm belief that we can only address today’s challenges with more solidarity, not less.


Director: Barbara Prainsack

Barbara Prainsack is Professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna. Prior to moving to Vienna she worked at King’s College London for ten years, where she continues to hold a professorial affiliation at the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine as her secondary affiliation. Barbara’s research focuses on regulatory, social and ethical aspects of biomedicine and bioscience, often by bringing marginalised and peripheral perspectives into regulatory debates. Her current projects explore the political meaning and effect of participatory practices in medicine, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Together with Alena Buyx she also contributes to the formulation of new legal and ethical instruments in medicine and healthcare, promoting a solidarity-based perspective. Her most recent book is Personalized Medicine: Empowered Patients in the 21st Century? (NYU Press, 2017). Barbara is a member of the Austrian Bioethics Commission, a member of the European Group on Ethics and New Technologies advising the European Commission, and a member of the Ethics Group of the National DNA Database in the UK. Together with Aarno Palotie and Stephen Holgate she led the European Science Foundation's (ESF) Forward Look on Personalised Medicine for the European Citizen (2012). Barbara is a member of the British Royal Academy of Arts, and an elected foreign member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.

Co-director (external): Alena Buyx

Alena Buyx is Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine at Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel. Prior to moving to Kiel, she held appointments at London, Münster and Harvard. Her research is in biomedical and public health ethics, with a particular focus on issues of governance and policy. Currently, Alena explores various issues in research ethics and examines participatory practices in medicine, often in the form of mixed-methods studies. She also works on the ethical implications of developing novel clinical applications, for example in the neurosciences. Together with Barbara Prainsack she also contributes to the formulation of new legal and ethical instruments in medicine, promoting a solidarity-based perspective. Their book Solidarity in Biomedicine and Beyond was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. Alena oversees clinical ethics advisory at Germany’s second-largest university hospital and regularly consults on research ethics, for example for the World Bank, or large European research consortia. She was a member of the Central Ethics Committee of the German Medical Association and currently is a member of the Advisory Board of European Forum Alpbach and the German Ethics Council.


Advisory Board:

© Deutscher Ethikrat

Peter Dabrock

Professor Peter Dabrock studied Protestant and Catholic Theology, Philosophy and Social Sciences in Würzburg, Bonn and Bochum, Germany. After a vicarship at the Protestant Church in Holzwickede, Germany (1995), from 1995-2002, he accepted a position as Teaching Assistant and Assistant Professor at the Chair of Systematic Theology (Ethics), University of Bochum, Germany.  He then served as Associate Professor of Social Ethics (2002-8), and Full Professor at the Faculty of Protestant Theology at the University of Marburg, Germany (2008-10). Peter has been Chair of Systematic Theology (Ethics) at Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg since October 2010. He previously held roles in bodies including the European Group on Ethics (2011-2016) and the German Medical Association’s Central Ethics Committee (2004-2013). Since 2011 he has been a member of the DFG Permanent Senate Commission on Animal Protection and Experimentation, as well as various committees within the Protestant church in Germany and Bavaria. He has been an appointed member of the German Ethics Council since 2012, has been its elected Chairperson since 2016.
Peter’s current research focuses on ethics of life sciences and medicine at the interface of science, technology and society, ethics of Big Data driven and biomarker based medicine, and ethics of forms of life in the democratically framed civil society under the rule of law (social justice, demographic change, sexual ethics, public theology).

Bernard Dichek

Bernard Dichek is a journalist, filmmaker and media consultant with expertise in the fields of international development and biotechnology. In recent years he has filmed and written extensively about development projects in Africa. He was  the founder of a biotechnology magazine and  is a regular contributor to The Jerusalem Report magazine and other publications on topics relating to technology, social issues and culture (bdichek.com). He has worked with the World Health Organization, the National Geographic Channel and the National Film Board of  Canada. He is a graduate of York University’s Film & TV  Program and the Hebrew University’s Communications Institute.  He was a co-founder of Israel’s Association of Rare Diseases and national representative at conferences of the European Genetic Interest Group and EuroGenTest. Bernard is also a Fellow of the European Initiative for Communicators of Science programme at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany.

Christiane Druml

Dr. Christiane Druml studied law at the University of Vienna. She currently holds the UNESCO Chair on Bioethics at the Medical University of Vienna and also serves as Director of Ethics, Collections and History of Medicine of the Medical University of Vienna. She is key researcher at the newly founded LBI for Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases in Vienna.
In 2007 she was appointed President of the Austrian National Bioethics Commission. She is also member of the Medical Council of the Republic of Austria and of the scientific council of the “Agence nationale de sécurité du medicament et des produits de la santé (ANSM),” France.  Since 2006 she represents Austria in the General Assembly of the “European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership- EDCTP” Den Haag.
From 2011 to 2015 Christiane was Vice-Rector for Clinical Affairs at the Vienna Medical University, prior to which she was Managing Director of the (Research) Ethics Committee at the Vienna Medical University (1992-2011). From 2008 to 2012 as Member of the University Council of the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria.
Christiane was Member of the International Bioethics Committee IBC of UNESCO from 2008 to 2015. She is reviewer for international scientific journals and for funding bodies. In 2011 she was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Arts and the Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur, France.

Carol Gould

Carol C. Gould is Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York, where she teaches in the Philosophy Department at Hunter College and in the Doctoral Programs in Philosophy and Political Science at the Graduate Center and is Director of the Center for Global Ethics and Politics at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Affairs. She is Editor of the Journal of Social Philosophy. Gould’s book Interactive Democracy: The Social Roots of Global Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2014) was awarded the 2015 Joseph B. Gittler Prize of the American Philosophical Association. Her previous authored works include Globalizing Democracy and Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2004), which won the 2009 David Easton Book Award from the American Political Science Association, and Rethinking Democracy: Freedom and Social Cooperation in Politics, Economy, and Society (Cambridge University Press, 1988). Her edited books include Women and Philosophy (1976), The Information Web:  Ethical and Social Issues in Computer Networking (1989), Gender (1999), and Cultural-Identity and the Nation-State (2003) and she has published over 80 articles in social and political philosophy, feminist theory, philosophy of law, and applied ethics. Carol has received fellowships and grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright Commission, the Woodrow Wilson International Centers for Scholars, and the Institute for Advanced Study.

Linsey McGoey

Dr Linsey McGoey is Reader (Associate Professor) in Sociology at the University of Essex. Her work is centred on developing new understandings of the power of strategic ignorance and useful unknowns in both maintaining and challenging unjust economic policies. She has published widely on pharmaceutical regulation; large-scale philanthropy; and the history of economic thought. Her current research explores the political economy of rentier wealth gains in the digital age. She is author of No Such Thing as a Free Gift (Verso, 2015) and The Unknowers (Zed, 2018). She is a founding editor of the Routledge Research in Ignorance Studies book series, an editorial board member at the journal Economy and Society, and has acted as advisor to the World Health Organization. With colleagues at Essex, she is part of the Human Rights and Big Data Technology project, funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council.

Auma Obama

Born and raised in Kenya, Dr Auma Obama studied in Germany. She lived and worked in Germany before returning to Kenya to work for CARE International. A key component of Auma’s work was the creation and coordination of the “Sport for Social Change Network”, an initiative that brought together grassroots organisations from various countries (East Africa, Egypt, Bangladesh), using sport as a tool for positive social behavior change - with a special focus on girls.
Auma is the Founder and Director of the Sauti Kuu Foundation that seeks to give a voice to financially and socially disadvantaged children and youth. Using a Self-Help Model of intervention the Foundation works to unlock their potential and enable them to improve their lives. Auma has been a  Trustee of the Jacobs Foundation (2011 – 2015), Councillor of the World Future Council (since 2015), Patron of Storymoja International Festival, Kenya (since 2014), the WELT Business Club, Berlin (2017), a Trustee of the Stiftung Lesen (German Reading Foundation) since 2015, a Council Member of the Kilimanjaro Initiative, Kenya, since 2014, and she is the Initiator of the Sauti Kuu Act Now Youth Awards. Last but not least, Auma is also a widely red author; her memoir Das Leben kommt immer dazwischen, was published (2010) in German and English (2012) (And Then Life Happens). She is an awarded international speaker on sustainable socio-economic growth and development, with special emphasis on the relationship between the ‘Developed’ and ’Developing’ World, and an alumna of the Rockefeller Foundations’s Bellagio Centre Residency Programme.

David Townend

David Townend is Professor of Health and Life Sciences Jurisprudence at Maastricht University, NL. He is also Visiting Professor of Health Law at the University of Lincoln, UK. His theoretical work in legal philosophy focuses on the relationship between law, ethics and manners. He is particularly interested in the formal ‘Politeness’ of late 17th and early 18th century Britain, and its potential in modern governance. His practical socio-legal work currently focuses around the governance of personal data in health and the life sciences, particularly in relation to data-intensive research and data sharing, and around mechanisms of ethics review in the life sciences.


Publications:

An up-to-date record of all publications published by our research group is available here: http://barbaraprainsack.wordpress.com