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Eighteen months ago, I left a permanent professorship in a generously interdisciplinary department of sociology and took an impermanent, lower-paying job at a university where I had to apply to something called the "Committee on Distinction" to retain the title of "Professor." Some people say, "That's what happens when Oxford calls." But it wasn't just that. It was the opportunity to engage in a groundbreaking experiment: to embed and integrate ethics within the Oxford Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. It's a dream job, for which I was willing to cross the disciplinary line into the medical sciences. In the United Kingdom, many bioethicists still work in departments outside science and medicine; similarly, those of us who work on neuroethics and psychiatric ethics tend to inhabit departments of philosophy, law, or sociology. I can report already that interdisciplinarity from this side feels and looks different.

Original publication




Journal article


Hastings Cent Rep

Publication Date





Ethics, Research, Humans, Psychiatry, Sociology, United Kingdom, Universities