UCL Philosophy


Dr James Wilson

Research Interests

My research integrates philosophy with other relevant disciplines, such as epidemiology, economics and political theory, to explore conceptual and practical challenges in the sustainable and equitable improvement of human wellbeing. I focus particularly on public health ethics, and the ownership and governance of ideas and information. For more information about my research, and to download some of my papers, you can go to my website: http://publicethics.net


I teach courses in ethics, political philosophy and aesthetics -- particularly focusing on public health ethics. In 2015-16 I am teaching a third year undergraduate/postgraduate course in the Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health, and a research seminar on Privacy. 

IRIS Researcher Profile

Dr James Wilson


Room B7, 18 Gordon Square


  • Senior Lecturer
    Dept of Philosophy
    Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Joined UCL


Award year Qualification Institution
2002 PhD
Doctor of Philosophy
University of London
1994 BA Hons
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Greek and Philosophy
University of Bristol

I have been at UCL since 2008, first as Lecturer in Philosophy and Health, and then as Senior Lecturer in Philosophy. I am Vice-Dean (Interdisciplinarity) for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and am co-director of the UCL Health Humanities Centre.  I am also Director of MA Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health, and co-Director of MA Health Humanities.

In 2011-12, I spent nine months on secondment to the Royal Society, working on the Science as an Open Enterprise report. This report identifies the principles, opportunities and problems of sharing scientific information, and makes a number of recommendations to scientists and their institutions, policymakers and others about how to create a socially responsible open data regime.

Before I arrived at UCL in 2008, I was Lecturer in Ethics for four years (2004-8) at the Centre for Professional Ethics, Keele University, and held temporary lectureships in Philosophy at Birkbeck (2003-4) and University of Roehampton (2002-3). I received my PhD (an examination of Kantian accounts of morality) from UCL in 2002.

My roles outside of UCL include:

  • Associate editor of Public Health Ethics (since 2015)

  • Independent member of the NHS Digital Data Access Advisory Group (2015--)

  • Member of the National Data Guardian's Panel (2016--)

  • Academic ethicist for General Practice Extraction Service Independent Advisory Group (2013-15)

  • Joint coordinator of the International Association of Bioethics’s Philosophy and Bioethics Network (INPAB) (since 2007).  The network aims to promote high quality philosophical reflection in bioethics. INPAB also runs a mailing list.