I am currently working on the following projects:
1) The body, appearance norms, body modification, and surgery
In my own academic work I am currently writing about the distinctions between cosmetic, cultural, and clinical surgery.
One working paper, “Cultural v. Cosmetic v. Clinical Surgery: Challenging the Distinction” argues that cultural elements pervade both cosmetic and clinical surgery.
Another paper, “Medicalised genital cutting and the limits of choice”, is in preparation for a major inter-disciplinary volume on female genital cosmetic surgery.
I am planning a major new research project titled Intact: The Political Philosophy of the Unmodified Body.
This academic research connects to two further projects:
I am a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Party on Cosmetic Procedures, due to report this summer. This major report is aimed at policy makers and stakeholders. It identifies the ethical issues arising from the increasing use of invasive cosmetic procedures, and makes recommendations for regulation and other measures. The Working Party consists of experts from Philosophy, Psychology, Medicine, Nursing, Surgery, Law, Anthropology, Sociology, and Advocacy / Activism. It has been collecting evidence and deliberating for nearly two years.
2) Public ethics, the state, and freedom
To what extent should the state try to make things better? Should the state try to promote valuable ways of life, or does perfectionist action of this sort violate autonomy? Is there such a thing as public ethics beyond procedural principles and basic justice? These questions have been long-running themes of my work. I am currently writing new papers on these themes, to be delivered as keynote speeches this year.