Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz

Department for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine

Copyright: Vincent Leifer, Greifswald

Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz
University Medical Center Göttingen
Department for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine

Humboldtallee 36
37073 Göttingen

Tel.: +49(0)551 39 69009
Mail: sschick(at)

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Since April 2010, Silke Schicktanz is full-professor at the Department of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine at the University Medical Center Goettingen. Her research focuses on the cultural and ethical study of biomedicine.
In 2011 she hold an Adjunct professorship for Philosophy at the San Francisco State University and was 2011-12 visiting research scholar at the University of California, Berkeley by a grant of the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Foundation (see
She has studied biology and philosophy at the University of Tübingen from 1991-1997. Her PhD thesis on the ethics of xenotransplantation was approved by the University of Tübingen in 2002.
She held various research positions at the University of Tübingen (1999-2000), at the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine/Forschungszentrum Jülich (2002-2003) and at the Department for Ethics, History and Theory of Medicine at the University of Muenster (2004-2005). Being interested in public dialogue and engagement, she was project leader of the first nation-wide citizen conference on genetic testing, held at Deutsches Hygiene-Museum in Dresden (1/2001-2/2002).
She was reviewer for the  ERC Advanced Review Panel SH4 (2009-2013; 2015-2017).

Since 2019, she has been a member of the IRG Gene Technology Report based at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and, since August 2020, appointed member of the Central Ethics Committee for Stem Cell Research.

In September 2022, she was elected as the new president of the Academy of Ethics in Medicine, the German-language scientific association for ethics in medicine and health care.

Research areas

  • Ethical and cultural studies of biomedicine (research, translation, health care systems)
  • Cultural differences within bioethics, globalisation of life science research
  • Concepts of collectivity in bioethics
  • Public and  stakeholder engagement in bioethics – methods and concepts
  • Relationship of ethics and empirical studies

10 current and important publications

  1. Raz, A. & Schicktanz, S. (2016): Comparative Empirical Bioethics: Dilemmas of Genetic Testing and Euthanasia in Israel and Germany. Springer Brief in ethics, 120 pages
  2. Leibing, A. & Schicktanz, S. (eds.) (2021): Preventing Dementia? Critical Perspectives on a New Paradigm of Preparing for Old Age. Berghahn: New York, 248 pages. Open Access.
  3. Buhr; L., Schicktanz, S. (2022): Individual benefits and collective challenges: Experts’ views on data-driven approaches in medical research and healthcare in the German context. In Big Data & Society 9 (1), 205395172210926. doi: 10.1177/20539517221092653
  4. Alpinar-Sencan, Z., Schicktanz, S., Ulitsa, N., Shefet, D., Werner, P. (2021): Moral motivation regarding dementia risk testing among affected persons in Germany and Israel. In: Journal of Medical Ethics, online ahead of print. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2020-106990
  5. Rodríguez-Arias, D., Molina-Pérez, A., Hannikainen, IR., Delgado, J., Söchtig, B., Wöhlke, S., Schicktanz, S. (2021): Governance quality indicators for organ procurement policies. In: PLoS ONE 16 (6): e0252686. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0252686
  6. Schicktanz, S., Michl, S., Stoff, H. (2021): Bioethics and the argumentative legacy of atrocities in medical history: Reflections on a complex relationship. In: Bioethics 35 (6): 499–507. doi: 10.1111/bioe.12841
  7. Hansen S., Pfaller, L., Schicktanz, S. (2020): Critical analysis of communication strategies in public health promotion: An empirical‐ethical study on organ donation in Germany. In: Bioethics 35 (2): 161–172. doi: 10.1111/bioe.12774
  8. Beier, K., Schweda, M., Schicktanz, S. (2019): Taking patient involvement seriously: a critical ethical analysis of participatory approaches in data-intensive medical research. In: BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 19 (1). doi: 10.1186/s12911-019-0799-7
  9. Schicktanz, S., Rimon-Zarfaty, N., Raz, A., Jongsma, K. (2018): Patient Representation and Advocacy for Alzheimer Disease in Germany and Israel: The Relevance of Stigma and Disease Conception. In: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 15 (3): 369–380. doi: 10.1007/s11673-018-9871-8
  10. Schicktanz, S. (2020): Socio-Cultural Studies and Ethical Reflection of Modern Medicine: An Elective Affinity. In: Bachmann-Medic, D. et al. (eds.): Futures of the Study of Culture (Concepts of the Study of Culture, 8). De Gruyter: Berlin, Boston

Current Projects

Sept 2022 – Aug 2025: MWK / Niedersachen VW Vorab-Förderung: The Legacy of Nazi Medicine in Contemporary Mental Health Ethics (LANE), in cooperation with Ben Gurion Univ. Israel 

Jul 2021 – Jun 2024:ERANET_Research Project: „Optimizing the aging Brain? Situating Ethical Aspects of Dementia Prevention (BEAD), in cooperation with Univ. Montreal, Canada and ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Jan 2020 – Dec 2023: BMBF Collaborative Project: Ethical and Social Aspects of Co-Intelligent Sensor-Based Assistance Systems in Dementia Care (EIDEC), in cooperation with the University of Oldenburg, University of Rostock and the DZNE Rostock (website under construction)

Jan 2018 – Dec 2021: BMBFHiGHmed: Heidelberg –Goettingen – Hannover Medical Informatics, sub-project: Ethics/Stakeholder

Jan 2018 – Dec 2020: German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF): Why to Know or Not to Know? Stakeholders’ Attitudes Towards Prodromal Dementia Diagnosis: Psycho-Social and Ethical Implications in Cross-Cultural Comparison

Okt 2017 – March 2020: BMBFDilemmas of Predictive Dementia Diagnostics: German Stakeholder Conference for Improving Ethics Competence in Healthcare and Life Sciences (PI) (with Prof. Gissendanner, IGEUS)

Jan 2018 – March 2020: DFG“I would prefer not to”. Organ donation between unease and criticism. A sociological and ethical analysis - proposal (with Prof Frank Adloff, University of Hamburg)


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