UK Pandemic Ethics Accelerator

About the project

This initiative brings UK ethics research expertise to bear on the multiple ongoing ethical challenges arising during pandemics. A partnership between the Universities of Oxford, Bristol, Edinburgh, University College London, and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, it seeks to provide rapid evidence, guidance and critical analysis to decision-makers and to support public debate on key ethical challenges.

Through public dialogues and policy workshops the project has engaged policy makers and citizens from across the UK. These processes have identified key public priorities for COVID-19 recovery and future pandemic responses. These include needs: to re-balance inequalities exposed and exacerbated by COVID-19; to build trust and transparency into government policies and actions; and to involve the public in policy-making.

Key policy recommendations include:

  • Engage citizens in developing policy responses and solutions, rather than simply eliciting their beliefs, intentions and opinions
  • Policymakers should reflect on how and why they are engaging with publics and the methods used. A deliberative approach can involve a range of methods, ensuring inclusivity and diversity and promoting engagement