Seasteads are artificially created settlements at sea which are beyond the legal jurisdiction of sovereign states.  Only maritime laws apply to seasteads.  Most developed nations have statutes or regulations pertaining to the ethical conduct of scientific research, but some aspects of science are governed by institutional policies or professional guidelines rather than laws (Shamoo and Resnik 2015).  Because seasteads have no laws governing scientific research, one might ask how seastead residents should oversee it.  Should they allow seastead scientists to develop and enforce their own rules or should they impose standards of conduct on those scientists?  This chapter will consider these questions.


The Author

Dr. David B. Resnik is a Bioethicist at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health.  He has an MA and a PhD in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and JD from Concord University.  He received his BA in philosophy from Davidson College.  Dr. Resnik was an Associate and Full Professor of Medical Humanities at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (ECU) from 1998-2004, and an Associate Director of the Bioethics Center at ECU and University Health Systems from 1998-2004.  Dr. Resnik was Assistant and Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wyoming (UW) from 1990-1998, and Director of the Center for the Advancement of Ethics at UW from 1995-1998. Dr. Resnik has published over 200 articles on various topics in philosophy and bioethics and is the author of 8 books. He serves on several editorial boards and is an Associate Editor of the journal Accountability in Research. Resnik is also Chair of the NIEHS Institutional Review Board, which reviews and oversees research involving human participants.



David B. Resnik (2017): Seasteads: Research Ethics and Oversight Issues, in: Victor Tiberius (Ed.) (2017): Seasteads. Opportunities and Challenges for Small New Societies, Zurich (vdf), pp. 197-203.