Research output per year

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Personal profile


Darryl Gunson is an ex-steelworker who turned to academia, especially philosophy and sociology, in the early 1980s. He studied at Manchester University where he graduated top of his class with a first-class honours degree in philosophy and sociology. He was subsequently awarded a British Academiy grant to study for a PhD in philosophy of language on the topic of  theories of meaning. This was awarded in 1996

More recently, he was awarded a second PhD, also from Manchester University (School of Law, Centre for Social Ethics and Policy), in bioethics and medical jurisprudence, for work on genetic enhancement, ethical values and rationality.

He has been employed by the UWS (formerly University of Paisley) since 1994 and is a Senior Lecturer. He has  also taught at Manchester Metropolitan University and at the University of Manchester.

He teaches, or has taught, Social Theory,  Philosophy, Social Science Research Methods, Philosophy of Science, Sociology of Work and Globalisation, Applied Ethics.

His main interests these days lay in the application of bioethical and social theoretical concepts and ideas. He was written and published on a broad range of topics including: genetics, cognitive enhancement, moral enhancement, philosophical bioethics, solidarity as a bioethical value, The Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights, social justice, global ethics, critical theory, Habermasian perspectives in bioethics. He is currently working on a project about supernatural beliefs and mental health.

Area of academic expertise - outline

Areas of expertise include:

  • Ethics of biotechnology – genetic enhancements
  • Normative ethical, political and social philosophy
  • Global moral frameworks in bioethics
  • Bioethics
  • Solidarity
  • Habermas/ critical theory
  • Mental Health and spirit possession

Current research activities

  • With Lawrence Nuttall. Spirit possession and women’s mental health in Glasgow’s Muslim community. Funded by Oxfam Partnership
  • Moral enhancement and ‘medicalization’ 
  • Cognitive enhancement and the future of work

Desired research direction

Desired research direction is to continue to work collaborate with Amina on issues to surrounding Muslim female health; to further disseminate results of the latest report via spin-off articles; to continue work on Bioethical topics.

Target collaborative organisations

Currently arranging meetings with Amina to discuss potential future collaborative projects

External positions

Member of WoSRES, West of Scotland Research Ethics Service


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Research Output

Spiritual Beliefs and Mental Health: A Study of Muslim Women in Glasgow

Gunson, D., Nuttall, L., Akhtar, S., Khan, A., Avian, G., Thomas, L., Collins, C. (ed.), Sims, R. (ed.) & Pautz, H. (ed.), 15 Jan 2019, UWS-Oxfam Partnership. 31 p. (UWS-Oxfam Partnership: Collaborative Research Reports Series; no. 4)

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

  • Genetics and justice: must one theory fit all contexts?

    Gunson, D., 1 Apr 2018, In : Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. 27, 2, p. 250-260 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    160 Downloads (Pure)

    On the relationship between bioethics and biopolitics

    Gunson, D., 4 Oct 2017, Bioethics and Biopolitics. Kakuk, P. (ed.). Springer Netherlands, p. 119-135 (Advancing Global Bioethics; vol. 8).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • 4 Downloads (Pure)

    On the relationship between bioethics and biopolitics

    Gunson, D., 2014.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Open Access
  • Risk, Russian-roulette and lotteries: Persson and Savulescu on moral enhancement

    Gunson, D. & McLachlan, H., Nov 2013, In : Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy. 16, 4, p. 877-884

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    • 6 Participation in conference
    • 3 Invited talk
    • 2 Oral presentation
    • 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course

    ESPMH Annual conference

    Darryl Gunson (Invited speaker)

    7 Aug 201911 Aug 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    ESPMH Annual conference

    Darryl Gunson (Invited speaker)

    21 Aug 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    ESPMH Annual Conference, Belgrade

    Darryl Gunson (Invited speaker)

    16 Aug 201719 Aug 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

     Gunson, D. (2015) ‘Medicalization and moral enhancement’ ESPMH Ghent,

    Darryl Gunson (Speaker)

    19 Aug 201522 Aug 2015

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

    L ‘Jinn, spirit possession, and mental health in Glasgow’

    Darryl Gunson (Speaker)

    May 2014

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk