Research on ethics as a bridge between science and policy


Deborah Oughton


(31.08.09) Deborah H. Oughton is professor in Environmental Chemistry and ethics co-ordinator at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, where she is also secretary of the Ethics Board (Etikkrådet). She joined the NFR Etikkprogrammet in 1992 to work on a project dealing with risk assessment and nuclear power; and held a post doc position with the UiO Etikkprogrammet between 2002 and 2004.

Her scientific research has focused on radioecology and environmental pollution, including projects on nuclear risks, acid rain, heavy metals and nano-particles. Specific areas of interest include chemical speciation and its influence on the transfer, bioavailability and metabolism of pollutants. In ethics and philosophy of science, her main research interests are on risk, scientific uncertainty and the application of ethics in practical decision-making. Her specialist area is in environmental risk assessment and management, and investigations how ethics may help to bridge science and policy. Specialising in the evaluation of radiation risks, research includes both theoretical work (an evaluation of those aspects morally relevant in deciding the acceptability of risks) and practical application (stakeholder involvement and ethical evaluation of decision-making processes).

At UiO, she has taught philosophy of science and research ethics to PhD students in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at UiO since 1995. She has also been an honorary research fellow at the Institute of Environment, Philosophy and Public Policy (IEPP), University of Lancaster. She is a board member of the National Ethical Committee for Science and Technology (NENT) and the Ethics Advisory Board for Patents, and was recently appointed as a member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences Climate Panel. She has recently been involved in 6 EU projects on environmental pollution, radioecology and ethics. She has published more than 150 papers, in both science and ethics, 64 in referred journals.

Deborah Oughton

PhD in Environmental Radiochemistry

Address: Universitetet for miljø- og biovitenskap, Institutt for plante- og miljøvitenskap
Postboks 5003, 1432 ÅS


Phone: ++47 - 64 96 55 44

Post doctoral fellow, The Ethics Program
2002 - 2004

Oughtons CV