The Program for Empirical Bioethics strives to advance ethical policy and practice in biomedical research and health care through the robust collection, dissemination, and translation of empirical data.

Identify. Study. Disseminate. Translate

Identify. Study. Disseminate. Translate.

Pursuit of our mission is guided by an iterative framework in which we:

  • Identify emerging, real-world issues that raise ethical questions.
  • Develop and conduct innovative research to inform those questions.
  • Actively disseminate findings to diverse audiences for immediate impact.
  • Seek opportunities to translate findings into ethical policies and practices.

‍‍The Empirical Bioethics Team

Our team comprises a range of disciplinary expertise, including bioethics, health law and policy, public health, and applied anthropology.

Together, we have conducted empirical research among diverse stakeholder groups, including the general public, patients and family members, research participants, biomedical researchers, human subjects protections leaders, biobanking and informatics experts, healthcare providers, industry experts, government officials, and bioethics and law scholars.

We have successfully implemented numerous qualitative and quantitative research techniques, such as cognitive interviews, in-depth interviews, focus groups, randomized surveys, structured elicitation techniques, systematic consensus development methods, and more.

Related Activities

In addition to our own research, we regularly collaborate closely with others by:

  • Providing research ethics consultation to identify, assess, and address real-time questions in biomedical ethics.
  • Assisting with the design and conduct of empirical research to inform biomedical ethics questions.
  • Disseminating empirical bioethics expertise—both topical and methods—through education and training.
  • Helping stakeholders apply empirical findings to the development of products and processes that promote ethical policy and practice.

Laura M. Beskow, Ph.D, M.P.H.

Ann Geddes Stahlman Chair in Medical Ethics and Professor of Health
Policy Director, Program for Empirical Bioethics