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Dr Mairi Levitt

Formerly at Lancaster University

Mairi Levitt

Office Hours:

Tuesdays 10-11am

PhD supervision

Bioethics (especially in the field of genetics)
Empirical ethics
Public understanding of science
Religion and education

Current Teaching

PPR 356 Religion in Schools



Research Interests

Current and recent projects

2010 Perceptions of Nature and Nurture. A pilot project (Cesagen ESRC funded).

2006-07'Criminal Genes and Public Policy'. Principal Investigator (Cesagen ESRC funded project).

2006-07 'Making better humans?' Principal Investigator. Collaborative project with the North West Genetics Knowledge Park (NOWGEN) under research theme 'Ethical, legal and social dimensions of genetics'


Career details

I came to Lancaster in 2004 as Deputy Director of Cesagen, an ESRC funded research centre. Before that I was a researcher and then a lecturer at the Centre for Professional Ethics, University of Central Lancashire (1993-2004), a lecturer at the College of St Mark and St John in Plymouth (1981-93) and a course tutor for the Open University (1980-90). In the brief time between being a student and a lecturer I worked for an educational publisher.

Other activities

I am on the editorial boards of Bioethics, New Genetics and Society, Health Care Analysis and Genetics, Society and Policy. I have been a member of staff on summer schools on bioethical issues in Cluj, Wuhan and Amsterdam. My interest in engaging with the public on genetic technology and its implications has taken me to Finland and China (for the British Council), Yakutsk (with a UNESCO delegation) and to Science Festivals,schools, rotary clubs etc in the UK.

Research overview

My research is in the field of  bioethics, especially focused on the ethical and social implications of genetics and medical technologies. I am interested in public perceptions of genetic research and technologies, including children and young people's perceptions  as well as those of adults and experts.  My recent research and publications include the ethics of 'making better humans', the relevance of 'criminal genes' to professional practice, children on the National DNA database and lay perceptions of nature and nurture and their role in behaviour. I am interested in the way health policy and information is communicated to publics, for example, in health promotion.   My second research area, which is related to lay people's ethics and to education, is focused on religiosity and religious education in schools.

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