Becoming Good: Early Intervention and Moral Development in Psychiatry (BeGOOD)

BeGOOD is an umbrella project, focused on the ethical and societal dimensions of the early intervention paradigm where it intersects with psychiatry, mental health and child development. BeGOOD comprises distinct but overlapping studies, which will cumulatively enrich understanding in the following areas: political, ethical and scientific dimensions of early intervention into children’s moral development; young people’s experiences of and moral reasoning about early intervention strategies and programmes; and ethical and social impacts of prenatal early intervention, particularly around epigenetic theories, motherhood and mothering practices. The project is highly interdisciplinary, bringing together expertise in empirical ethics, developmental psychopathology, anthropology, and neuroscience. We have a core commitment to involving young people in our research, as participants, and as collaborators. A key aim of this collaborative work is to develop a set of innovative and scalable tools that will enable better research and understanding of young people’s moral experiences, attitudes, and challenges.

The BeGOOD team is uniquely situated within Oxford Psychiatry and Neuroscience. We build collaborative research relationships with scientists and clinicians while maintaining a critical perspective and a portfolio of independent research projects. We have formal affiliations and conduct research and training activities, with the Oxford Uehiro Centre in the Department of Philosophy and The Oxford Ethox Centre in the Nuffield Department for Population Health. The BeGOOD team leads the Psy-Ethics education and training platform, which enables activities within the Oxford Health Foundation Trust and engagements with academic and health groups across Oxford.

BeGOOD started in July 2015, so watch this space for news about our developments, aspirations, and accomplishments, as we grow. Many thanks to the Wellcome Trust for the Senior Investigator Award to Professor Ilina Singh, which launched us (2015-2020)!