Research Areas

Research Agenda

As part of the strategic orientation of the research conducted at the University of Zurich, the University Research Priority Program "Human Reproduction Reloaded" | H2R will explore for 8 years, the rapidly changing medical technology on human reproduction and its sociological, societal, ethical and legal implications. In particular, this interdisciplinary URPP seeks to understand and provide policy guidance on the societal impact and legal challenges of such technology. Moreover, it aims at exploring the aspirations, limitations, and ethical considerations of assisted reproductive technologies (ART).

Key Target Objectives

  1. To research and analyze reproductive decisions: their legal, medical, and social prerequisites, contexts, and effects; their consequences for the individual person as well as for families and society; and their economic implications, technical-medical limitations, and normative assumptions.
  2. To pay particular attention to newer reproductive options, including egg freezing, genetic selection, germ cell donation, and gene editing.
  3. To contribute to a better understanding of the future challenges of reproduction, fostering meaningful conversations among stakeholders and the wider public that situates science and technological advances more clearly in the context of values and norms. 

The four sub-projects and the Data Centre

To address these three objectives it is imperative to connect theoretical and normative argumentation with data science and to place them in a historical context. The URPP H2R adopts a specific matrix of methodologies and topics. It is organized in four sub-projects, including a high-risk sub-project on CRISPR technology. The sub-projects share a diverse array of topics and are defined by specific themes, their theoretical perspective and in particular by the research methodologies they use. They each unite several disciplines. The research is predicated and framed by data and findings from the Empirical and Normative Knowledge and Data Centre

  • SP 1: Normativity of Human Reproduction 
  • SP 2: Human Reproduction in Societies and Markets
  • SP 3: Ethnography of Human Reproduction in Single Case Studies in Threshold Areas
  • SP 4: CRISPR Technology in Human Reproduction