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Climate change, cooperation and moral bioenhancement
  1. Toby Handfield,
  2. Pei-hua Huang,
  3. Robert Mark Simpson
  1. Monash University, SOPHIS, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Associate Professor Toby Handfield, Monash University, SOPHIS, 20 Chancellors Walk, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia; toby.handfield{at}


The human faculty of moral judgement is not well suited to address problems, like climate change, that are global in scope and remote in time. Advocates of ‘moral bioenhancement’ have proposed that we should investigate the use of medical technologies to make human beings more trusting and altruistic and hence more willing to cooperate in efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change. We survey recent accounts of the proximate and ultimate causes of human cooperation in order to assess the prospects for bioenhancement. We identify a number of issues that are likely to be significant obstacles to effective bioenhancement, as well as areas for future research.

  • Behaviour Modification
  • Enhancement
  • Decision-making
  • Public Policy

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to the research and the writing of this article.

  • Funding Australian Research Council DP150100242.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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