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Rodolfo Maggio

Postdoctoral Researcher

Mothers: Early Intervention Ethics (MO:EIE)

I work to develop and lead MO:EIE, an empirical sub-study on the social and ethical dimensions of prenatal intervention. MO:EIE is part of BeGOOD, a flagship research project held within the Neuroscience Ethics & Society Team in the Department of Psychiatry, and funded by a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award to Professor Ilina Singh. The project is highly interdisciplinary, bringing together expertise in empirical ethics, developmental psychopathology, neuroscience, and anthropology.
My research focuses on the ethical, political, and scientific dimensions of early interventions into children's moral development, with particular consideration for mothering practices and cultures of motherhood. Care, love and attachment are at the core of my intellectual and empirical interests, as is my engagement with notions of responsibility, child development, and individual flourishing. My contribution to the BeGood project draws extensively upon my experiences as ethnographer, and looks at the dimensions of early interventions from an anthropological perspective 
I conducted my latest ethnographic research in Solomon Islands, where for 13 months I shared the daily lives, joys and sorrows of the inhabitants of Gilbert Camp, a settlement on the outskirts of Honiara. I took part in their everyday housekeeping, joined their celebrations and life-cycle rituals, and learnt about their moral ideas of what a household, a family, and a community  are meant to be. I was particularly interested in investigating the tensions between supposedly incompatible values, such as relatedness and independence, and how people negotiate their position when confronted with challenging moral dilemmas.
On the basis of my experience in ethnography, moral anthropology, and qualitative research methods, I support the BeGOOD team and take a lead role in key aspects of the MO:EIE sub-study. I am responsible for developing the research protocol, investigating innovative research methodologies, and conducting data collection and analysis. My approach is to connect highly contextual and local insights with wider issues of morality, in order to positively influence contemporary debates, empirical ethics, and scientific policies.

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