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Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and the Environment



Simon Beard is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk where he works on the project "Managing Extreme Technological Risks". His work aims to establish the problems inherent in applying cost-benefit analysis to Extreme Technological Risks, and to develop new ways of analysing cost-benefit that can overcome these. He also studies the ethical consequences of real-world technological risks and contributes to current policy debates.

Simon's research focuses on consequentialist moral philosophy. His primary research focus is in 'population ethics', evaluating the contribution made by the lives of all present and future people to an outcome. As well as applying this research to the field of extreme technological risks, Simon is also involved in developing new approaches to more traditional problems of population ethics, such as the ethics of policies aimed at controling fertility rates and promoting intergenerational justice. He is also interested in the quantification of fairness in relation to moral frameworks, and the moral significance of personhood and its application to debates about emerging technologies.

Simon holds a PhD in Moral Philosophy from the London School of Economics. Prior to joining CSER, Simon was a research fellow at Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford, where he worked on the project "Population Ethics: Theory and Practice". Simon has also worked as a parliamentary researcher and a campaigner, and his research has been used by a number of campaigning organisations, including SCOPE, Dignity in Dying and the Skills Commission. He was a parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats in 2015.

Postdoctoral Reseacher,
Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge
Dr Simon  Beard
Not available for consultancy


Person keywords: 
the ethical challenges in evaluating existential risks, particularly risks associated with developing new technologies
public policy
moral philosophy
population ethics