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Prof Jantina de Vries – Director Ethics Lab – University of Cape Town

This week on Womanity-Women in Unity, Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka talks to Prof Jantina de Vries, who is the director of The Ethics Lab at the Neuroscience Institute and an Associate Professor in Bioethics in the Department of Medicine of the University of Cape Town. She is a member of: the Research Ethics Board of Médecins Sans Frontières, the Steering Committee of the Global Forum for Bioethics in Research and the Advisory Board for the Center for ELSI Resources and Analysis (CERA) at Stanford University. She was a member of the WHO Genome Editing Expert Advisory Committee as of the H3Africa Steering Committee.

The vision of the Neuroscience Institute is a continental one for an Africa where people achieve their full potential through brain health. The mission of the Ethics Lab is to foster transformative ethics scholarship to disrupt and shape ethics in health research in innovation and to centre Africa as the context and driver of global health ethics. The Ethics Lab’s interdisciplinary scholars ask broad questions about new and emerging health technologies from the view of our African context. They engage with a variety of technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), genomics and robotics and think about the ethics of these technologies, and what it means to be human. For example, taking the perspective that humans are incomplete and are a constant work in progress, then the incompleteness framing could allow us to think about technologies as extensions of self, that we utilise to become more complete, or better people.

Prof de Vries discusses the mindsets of abundance and scarcity and how a culture of conviviality can lead to changing ways of work and the as well as the work environment with a positive impact on people. We discuss some of the constraints that women experience, which may be internal limitations that are self-imposed, as well external influences that may tell women that they are not good enough.

Give yourself the freedom to pursue your dreams or find what really stimulates you; that is your responsibility, you must pursue that which nurtures and sustains you. Tune in for more….

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