Many congratulations to Ozan Gurcan, the first student in the Ethics and Public Affairs Programs to successfully defend his Ph.D. on May 12, 2021.

Ozan joined the Ethics and Public Affairs program at Carleton University in Fall of 2016 after completing a BSc in Biomedical Science (with minor in Applied Ethics) and an MA in Public Ethics. He had first discovered his passion for bioethics as an undergraduate science student, which led him to take more courses in ethics and philosophy and then to ultimately lead his own research in the field.

Ozan’s doctoral thesis is on the topic of genetic discrimination, where he develops an account of what an ethical life insurance scheme ought to look like in a pluralistic society. In a future where genetic modification within the human species is expected to be more common, Ozan is interested in developing a normative framework that can help policymakers make decisions about how to deal with (genetic) discrimination in different contexts (adoption, employment, healthcare delivery, etc.).

We asked Ozan to reflect on his time in EPAF at Carleton, and here’s what he had to say:

What did you like most about your time in the EPAF Ph.D. program?

The EPAF program trained me to become a well-rounded researcher in the humanities and social sciences. It allowed me to develop my knowledge of feminist ethics, providing me with an important lens through which I can assess social policy from. The new research skills and knowledge I gained at Carleton compliments my knowledge and training in the biomedical sciences and makes me a bioethicist who can approach problems from an interdisciplinary perspective.

What did you like most about your time at Carleton in general?

During my time at Carleton I formed many close relationships and learned a lot from my peers and professors. My experiences presenting at conferences, organizing conferences, completing my practicum, and leading tutorials will always stay with me.

What can we find you doing now?

I am working as an advisor in the public service on projects related to discrimination and equity, diversity, inclusion.

A message to Ozan Gurcan from his supervisor:

Marc Saner, Full Professor, University of Ottawa and Adjunct Professor, Department of Philosophy, Carleton University

Ozan is the first EPAF student to earn his PhD, which is a testament to his effective work style. Supervising his brilliant thesis was a pleasure and privilege. His dedication and intellectual courage were clear from the beginning of our collaboration, and I engaged him on a contract for Health Canada. Thanks to his support, it was a fantastic success. He quietly and systematically pursued his research and put forward a bold and original thesis—the exact definition of what a PhD should be.  With its broad ethics foundation and its high policy relevance, it is also a model for EPAF. The result is intellectually path breaking.  His work immediately led to a job in the federal government and the short-listing for a professorship at a major US university.  At a personal level, his professionalism, drive, and quiet humour made it fun and intellectually exciting for me. I am looking forward to our future interactions!