Student Spotlight: Aidan Burnett

Why did you decide to declare a bioethics minor?

I am passionate about ethics, so I originally looked into an ethics minor. Even though I am not especially interested in medicine, I ended up happily minoring in bioethics. This has allowed me to take ethics courses while learning about the intersections between the sciences and humanities. I think this will be valuable for any careers in biological or environmental research I might pursue.


What are some particular bioethical issues you are interested in, and why?

I am especially interested in environmental ethics, clinical research ethics, and the ethics of death and dying. I am an ecologist at heart and so issues such as equal access to green spaces are important to me. Clinical research ethics are simply close to mind as someone who thinks about ethics and experimental designs often. I am drawn to the ethics of death and dying because I feel strongly that everyone has the right to a dignified death.


What might someone be surprised to know about you?

That I took up blacksmithing during the pandemic! It's something I've been interested in for years and this seemed like the perfect time to start. The way I saw it, I either have a useful skill if society collapses or an interesting hobby if it doesn’t.


What is something that you are proud of, and why?

I am most proud of the work that I've put into learning how to manage my mental health. I feel no shame in saying that I've been diagnosed with major depressive syndrome & severe anxiety. In my experience, I've found cognitive behavioral therapy to be pivotal in my quality of life and I will happily talk about and recommend therapy to people living with mental illnesses.