The Australian Research Council (ARC) has announced the winners of its Future Fellowships, and a few philosophers are among them.
They and their projects are:
- Amanda Jane Johnson (Macquarie University)
Current approaches to animal ethics face challenges addressing significant problems in animal research. These problems include: harms to research workers and animals, poor translation of results from animals to humans leading to ineffective treatments and poorly directed future research efforts. This project addresses these challenges by developing an innovative, empirically-informed relational approach to animal ethics. The new approach will deliver a novel framework that minimises harms to humans and animals, and improves the quality of results obtained from experiments. Benefits include a more ethically robust practice of animal research and more targeted deployment of finite research resources. (AU$726,320)
- Seth Lazar (Australian National University)
Public and private actors are increasingly using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to exercise power over citizens, who are increasingly unsure whether to accept that power. AI faces a crisis of legitimacy. This project aims to use technically- and empirically-grounded philosophy to make Australia a global leader in the study and design of legitimate AI. The project expects to launch and make fundamental progress in a new field: the Political Philosophy of AI. Expected outcomes include new strategies shared with industry and government partners for designing and deploying legitimate AI systems. Expected benefits include the opportunity to enjoy the public and private efficiencies enabled by AI, without compromising our freedom and equality. (AU$1,020,698)
- Magdalena Zych (University of Queensland)
Time is among the most precisely measurable quantities in physics, yet it is also the least understood concept in physics. This project aims to develop a mathematical framework describing measurements of time with high-precision clocks sensitive to both quantum and gravitational effects. The project expects to deliver new knowledge in the foundations of quantum physics by describing new gravitational effects in quantum systems. Expected outcomes include enhanced understanding of time in quantum theory and strategies for harnessing gravitational effects in high-precision clocks, bringing cultural benefits to society and paving the way towards improved quantum technologies that are expected to bring economic benefits in the next two decades. (AU$790,320)
The Future Fellowships provide substantial four-year fellowships to outstanding Australian mid-career researchers to fund “high quality research in areas of national and international benefit.” Up to 100 are awarded each year. You can see the full list of this round’s winners here.