Skip to main content

Center for History and Ethics of Public Health


A WHO collaborating center for bioethics, this Center provides expert consultation on bioethical questions.

The Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health is a unique collaboration of historians and ethicists whose engaged scholarship informs public health policy. The idea behind the Center's research and teaching activities is simple: confront the challenges facing public health by understanding their ethical dimensions and political, social, cultural, and economic roots.

At the Center, ethical questions inspire historical research, which in turn helps reframe contemporary choices and policy options.

In addition to undertaking historical inquiry, the Center has been vital in developing the field of public health ethics. While bioethics has stressed the importance of protecting individual patients and research subjects, public health ethics has made protecting populations a priority. The Center boasts a faculty who have pioneered a new way of thinking about ethics and population health.

Along with performing distinguished research on the most compelling and pressing public health issues of today, the Center's faculty is committed to training the next generation of engaged scholars through academic programs at both the master’s and doctoral level.