Explorations Series (Bathurst): Doping in Sport and Human Enhancement - Professor Julian Savulescu


Start: 13th Sep 2017 6:00pm
End: 13th Sep 2017 7:30pm

Followed by light refreshments.

On recent evidence, the anti-doping effort is continuing to fail athletes and fans. Professor Julian Savulescu will argue that a radical overhaul is needed. We should accept performance enhancement is part of sport and focus instead on harmful practices, or practices which are against the spirit of sport. 

Usain Bolt is the only athlete within the top 50 all time 100m sprint records who has never been connected with doping. In August 2017, in the final race of Bolt's career, twice banned Justin Gatlin denied Bolt a fairy tale ending by beating him to the line. The episode is a neat allegory for the wider issue of doping in sport: just as we 'dare to dream' that doping is in the past, new evidence, whether through re-testing, Russian hacks, or whistle blowers, suggests that it is as alive and well as ever. 

Dick Pound, ex-head of WADA, famously said that doping is like pornography, you know it when you see it. It took a jury trial to decide that DH Lawrence's  Lady Chatterley's Lover was not in fact pornography, and rules over what is or is not doping are no more consistent or obvious. Professor Savulescu will argue that the zero tolerance method of controlling doping in sport is not working. From a practical policy viewpoint, we should consider another approach to reach the goals of a level playing field. Finally, he will argue that enhancement  per se is not against the spirit of sport.

Professor Savulescu will draw on this discussion to raise some of the ethical issues of human enhancement more generally.

Professor Julian Savulescu has held the Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford since 2002. He has degrees in medicine, neuroscience and bioethics. He directs the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics within the Faculty of Philosophy, and leads a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator award on Responsibility and Health Care. He directs the Oxford Martin Programme for Collective Responsibility for Infectious Disease at the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. He co-directs the interdisciplinary Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities in collaboration with Public Health, Psychiatry and History.

In 2017, Professor Savulescu joined the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, spending four months per year there as Visiting Professorial Fellow in Biomedical Ethics, and Melbourne University as Distinguished International Visiting Professor in Law.  He is Editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, and founding editor of Journal of Practical Ethics. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bucharest in 2014.

Venue / Address:
Charles Sturt University, Building 1292, Room 223, Panorama Avenue, Bathurst NSW (follow the event parking signs to P7)

Contact Phone: (02) 6272 6292
Contact Email: Suzanne Uniacke

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