UAB professor leading the charge in ethical conversations

He recently co-wrote an opinion paper titled “Research Ethics and Geoengineering."

david_morrow_sDavid Morrow, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham assistant professor of philosophy, is among only a handful of experts leading the national conversation about the ethics of geoengineering, the large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climate system to counteract climate change.

Morrow has made it his mission to inform people designing relevant institutions that any decisions regarding geoengineering should reflect ethical consideration. He recently co-wrote an opinion paper titled “Research Ethics and Geoengineering,” which appeared in the “Geoengineering Our Climate? Working Paper and Opinion Article Series.” It is part of one of the first series of papers dedicated to exploring the ethics, politics and governance of this provocative new issue. In it, Morrow and his colleagues addressed three principles they feel must be considered when making plans for field studies related to this area: respect, justice and minimization.

The article is among collected works that will be published in 2015 by Earthscan from Routledge’s Science in Society series, titled “Geoengineering Our Climate? Ethics, Politics and Governance.” Morrow’s work also appeared in the anthology “Climate Change Geoengineering Philosophical Perspectives, Legal Issues, and Governance Frameworks” published by Cambridge University Press. This summer, he gave a talk at Harvard University at its annual interdisciplinary summer school on geoengineering.

Morrow said there have not been any large-scale geoengineering field studies, and that those are not likely to happen for at least a decade, if they happen at all. He hopes that all the ethical complexities surrounding future work will be considered.