The Institute for Science and Ethics (formerly known as the Program on Ethics of the New Biosciences) was established in June 2005 with funding from the Oxford Martin School. It is a research project based within the University of Oxford’s Faculty of Philosophy and is directed by Professor Julian Savulescu. The project has a multidisciplinary team, which includes expertise in medicine, philosophy, practical ethics, sociology and psychology. The program is closely linked to the Future of Humanity Institute, which is also part of the Oxford Martin School.

What are the emerging sciences?

  • Stem Cell science
  • Cloning
  • Artificial reproduction
  • New genetics

Research Questions

  • What limits should we place on research, development and use of emerging sciences?
  • How should unethical research, development and use of emerging sciences?
  • How should ethical research, development and use of emerging sciences be facilitated?


  • To identify the ethical issues involved in current and near-future scientific advances in emerging sciences.
  • To collate relevant evidence from an interdisciplinary perspective (medicine, science, ethics, humanities, social sciences, especially psychology)
  • To apply philosophical methodology to analyse particular ethical issues in the emerging sciences and provide a range of possible courses of action
  • To promote public understanding and debate
  • To promote professional understanding and debate, and to create a new and constructive relationship between science, medicine and ethics.
  • To provide policy and legal recommendation
  • To provide resources for human research ethics committees to evaluate emerging sciences.