Risk, Intervention, Survival

Saving Humans is one of the inaugural themes of the University's new Institute of Advanced Studies, reports Professor Heather Widdows.

The intention to save and make secure human lives might seem to be a simple and obvious aim – and one which is wholly commendable – however it is not simple. How and what ‘saving humans' involves raises complex ethical, political, and practical questions. Questions such as who is responsible for doing and financing the ‘saving’ and what ‘basic saving’ involves are not simple to answer, nor are questions of responsibility about intervention and its consequences.

‘Saving humans’ considers these questions in many contexts and across a broad spectrum of threats to human survival and flourishing as, despite the great variety of threats, similar questions face those attempting to intervene and act to save and improve human lives.

The Saving Humans theme will bring together researchers from across the university and beyond to investigate these and other pertinent questions. It will consider a number of possible threats: