The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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Oliver Feeney


Dr Oliver Feeney is a researcher in political theory and bioethics with the Centre of Bioethical Research and Analysis, NUI Galway. His primary research is on the ethical, legal and social (justice) implications of new biotechnologies, especially human biomedical interventions. This research is currently focused in three areas: 1) critically analyzing contemporary normative discussions over new advances in genome editing by re-contextualizing key issues within a broader multi-disciplinary context, 2) examining the evolving role of patents and intellectual property rights in the context of new (genetic) technologies and the scope for regulatory control, and 3) an ELSI analysis of electronic health data-sharing initiatives for migrants in Europe.
Dr Feeney gained his PhD in political theory and bioethics from the School of Political Science & Sociology, NUI Galway and the thesis (on genetics and justice) received the 2009 Basil Chubb Prize. He has been a visiting researcher or member of teaching staff at the School of Advanced Studies & Royal Holloway, University of London; Università di Bologna, Italy and Ghent University, Belgium. In the COST Action IS1303 (focussed on ELSI issues in genetic testing and research in Europe), he served as Co-Chair to the Working Group on ‘Science and Values’. He is currently Head of Ireland’s Unit (‘UNESCO Bioethics Ireland’) of the International Network of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics, Vice-Chair of UNESCO Chair in Bioethics International Research Group ‘Bioethics and human rights, forced displacement in conflict scenarios’ and Vice-Chair for Research for the European Division of the UNESCO Chair.

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