The Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities is based at the University of Oxford’s Big Data Institute. It is a collaboration between the Ethox Centre; the Oxford Neuroscience, Ethics and Society Group; the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics; and the Wellcome Unit for History of Medicine. The Centre will conduct research on the challenges to ethics and the humanities presented by advances in neuroscience, big data, genomics, and global connectedness and their convergence. The establishment of the new Centre responds to a pressing need for a robust and flexible multidisciplinary research platform in the ethics and related humanities capable of engaging successfully with new and profoundly difficult ethical and social challenges presented by the form, scale, scope, and societal implications of these developments. Engaging successfully with such challenges requires a paradigm shift and a change of scale in approaches to ethics and the humanities more generally. The Centre will establish a robust research infrastructure to enable multi-disciplinary teams of medical scientists, bioethicists and researchers in the humanities and social sciences to engage with the complex ethical problems presented by developments in neuroscience, big data, genomics, and global connectedness. Through its research and engagement activities, the Centre aims to lead debate on the ethical requirements for 21st Century scientific research capable both of improving health and of commanding public trust and confidence.

The Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities is funded by a Wellcome Centre Grant (203132).