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Cambridge Global Challenges


This conference will bring together scholars from across a range of fields (ethics, politics, history, theology, economics, epidemiology) and a range of global health practitioners (scientific researchers, public health officials, clinicians) to discuss some of the most pressing questions of morality arising in contemporary and historic global health enterprises. Already confirmed speakers include Peter Redfield, David Heymann, and Lindsey McGoey.

Contemporary discussions about global health are rife with accusations, assumptions and assertions of morality, immorality and the irrelevance of both. New tensions and debates regarding morality in global health have arisen from a long history of colonial and mission medicine, post-colonial internationalism, and ever-changing formulations of equity and provision. Some of these discussions see classical moral reasoning re-examined, for example, the rise of ‘effective altruism’ and its challenges to the role of the emotive and political. Others resent the reliance on big data and pragmatism that shapes utilitarian approaches to global health. The quieter assertions of amorality around pursuits of medical science and the angry indictments levelled at the economic models of pharmaceutical complexes rely on moralising language, too.

This conference will provide a forum to vocalize, exorcise and ignite ideas of morality in global health. By bringing together scholars from disciplines such as anthropology, history, economics, epidemiology, political science, literature and theology, we hope to chart the forms and places of morality in global health.

We are currently accepting abstracts for papers discussing any and all questions of morality/ethos/ethics relating to global health. We welcome abstracts from all disciplines. Abstracts should not exceed 500 words and need to be emailed to by the 9th of February along with your name and department/group affiliation.

General conference registration for will open on the 14th of February on the conference webpage.


This conference run by the Infectious Diseases Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC)

Tuesday, 26 June, 2018 - 09:00 to Wednesday, 27 June, 2018 - 17:00
Cambridge Global Challenges is a Strategic Research Initiative of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing global challenges and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Funding Opportunities

Find out about open funding opportunities, pre-call announcements, responsive calls, studentships and awards relevant to the global...