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.

Carleton’s graduate Ethics and Public Affairs (EPAF) programs were founded in 2015, and combine ethical analysis with social science to gain a comprehensive understanding of the options for solving particular public issues. Possible research topics are as varied as the expertise of Carleton faculty, ranging from the environment, gender and other social inequalities, multiculturalism, health, social and economic development, global inequality, and more.  The program is not so much ‘applied ethics’ as it is a collaboration between philosophers who research public issues and social science and public policy specialists with interests and expertise in the values underlying those issues.

Visit the webpage, Student Profiles, to learn more about other Ph.D. students in EPAF.