Public Policy in Future Emergencies

Public Policy in Future Emergencies - What Can We Learn From The Pandemic About Balancing Science and Ethics In Policy?

This panel discussion explored the ethical implications of public health policy challenges raised by the coronavirus pandemic, in particular the challenge of balancing competing ethical values such as fairness and the public good. Panellists considered which stakeholder perspectives are needed to develop ethically informed policy responses, and whether and how the views of scientists, ethicists, service users, the public, and politicians can be adequately accommodated in the rapid development of policy in a pandemic. We considered how the perspectives of those on the margins should be included in responses to pressing societal challenges.

The panel was chaired by Prof Sir Charles Godfray, Director of the Oxford Martin School and the panellists are Richard GleaveProf Sarah Harper, Dr Mohammad Razai and Dr Jonathan Pugh.



Professor Sarah Harper, CBE is the Founding Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing and Clore Professor of Gerontology. Throughout her career, Professor Harper has combined academic research with public policy including in her work with the Office of the Prime Minister and Department of Work and Pensions on the Government Ageing Strategy, with the Department of Children, Schools and Families developing their Horizons Programme, with the UK Government Office of Science on their Demography Review, and with the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Ageing Societies.

Dr Jonathan Pugh is a Senior Research Fellow in Applied Moral Philosophy at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. He is a former Associate Editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, and he is the author of Autonomy Rationality and Contemporary Bioethics (OUP 2020). He is currently employed as a member of the UKRI's multi-centre Pandemic Ethics Accelerator Project, which aims to coordinate and mobilize ethics excellence to inform key policy challenges in the pandemic. 

Richard Gleave is the Deputy Chief Executive of Public Health England.  He has worked both as an NHS manager, including being a hospital Chief Executive, and a civil servant, where he was the Director of NHS Performance.   In 2007-08, he was a Harkness and Health Foundation Fellow in the USA attached to Kaiser Permanente and UC Berkeley.  He currently doing a part-time DPhil in Evidence-based Health Care in the Nuffield Department of Primary Health Care Sciences and Department for Continuing Education, where he is also a Senior Associate Tutor.

Dr Mohammad Razai is an academic clinical fellow in primary care at Population Health Institute, St George's University of London. He is a practising GP, poet and author and lives in London.