World leader in neuroethics scoops Eureka Prize

Thursday, 3 September 2009

20 August 2009: Dr Neil Levy, world leader in a new area of philosophy known as neuroethics, was this week announced as the 2009 winner of The Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Research in Ethics, sponsored by Australian Catholic University (ACU).

The award recognises outstanding research into theoretical or practical ethical issues that contribute to the understanding and development of ethical standards, and can be awarded to an individual researcher or a research team. Now in its eighth year, the award is valued at $10,000.

Dr Levy, who holds positions at the University of Melbourne and Oxford University, has done extensive research in neuroethics which looks at how sciences of the mind can help us to understand standard philosophical questions such as morality and free will.

Dr Levy has looked specifically at how society responds to mind enhancement through the use of psychopharmaceutical drugs such as antidepressants which he believes should not detract from an individual's identity.

His research is especially relevant to Australia, which along with New Zealand, is the third highest user of psychostimulants in the world.