April 30, 2006

Susan Sherwin Wins Killam Prize

There is more money devoted to bioethics research in Canada than in the United States by a factor of ten. Seriously. Nobody seems to know how it happened, but unless you count the money allocated for study of ethics in nanotechnology in the U.S., Canada has lapped the U.S. nine times and continues to increase its devotion to the importance of bioethics research.

A recent example is the award to Dalhousie University philosopher Dr. Susan Sherwin of the Killam Prize for her work in feminist bioethics.

Sherwin says being awarded the $100,000 Killam Prize is simply overwhelming. I'm deeply honoured,' she said in an interview. 'The only way I can make sense of it is that it is a recognition of the importance of the whole field of work that I engage in.'

But that field, feminist bioethics, is one she largely pioneered. Combining her interests in feminist philosophy and health-care ethics, Ms. Sherwin's 1992 book, No Longer Patient: Feminist Ethics and Health Care, was the first to consider the subject.

Dalhousie's Department of Bioethics has exploded along with others in Canada, home to Canada Research Chair in bioethics holder Francoise Baylis , Nuala Kenny, and lots of other smart people, as well as a number of interesting and well funded projects in areas as diverse as neuroethics - for which there is basically no funding in the U.S. - and developing world bioethics.

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