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Biomedicine, Ethics and Social Justice (BESJ)

About the Biomedicine, Ethics and Social Justice (BESJ) Research Group

The Biomedicine, Ethics and Social Justice (BESJ) research group is committed to conceptually rigorous, empirically informed, critical explorations of factors that contribute to social justice and injustice in biomedicine. We look at how various aspects of biomedicine affect the distribution of burdens and opportunities within and across societies. We also explore the ethical underpinnings of encounters between patients and clinicians, as well as research participants and investigators. We analyse and compare practices, norms and policies locally, transnationally and globally. We conduct empirical studies and engage in conceptual and normative work. Our research often combines different approaches (e.g. empirical ethics).

The group has a diverse portfolio of research projects.

Collaboration, consultancy and dialogue with publics, practitioners, policy makers and other constituencies underpins all work carried out in BESJ. For example, members of our research group contribute to the work of national bioethics bodies (e.g. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the Austrian National Bioethics Council), national research ethics policy organisations (e.g. the U.K. National Research Ethics Service), international and global health policy organisations (such as the WHO, the Council for International Organizations of Medical Science), as well as a range of European organisations (e.g. European Science Foundation, ESF) and NGOs.

Members of BESJ are regular commentators on societal, ethical and regulatory aspects of bioscience and medicine in public media, organise and participate in public engagement initiatives, and speak at academic and public events on a range of issues in the domain of biomedicine, ethics, and social justice. 

For further details on the BESJ group, please contact the chair, Professor Barbara Prainsack, email:, telephone 0044-(0)-7912622901.

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