Ethics Lab photo
Ethics Lab photo

The Ethics Lab is a research platform in the Neuroscience Institute seeking to cultivate convivial scholarship for a just world. Our mission is to centre Africa as context and driver of bioethics to disrupt and shape global health research and innovation.

Our work focuses on the ethics of new and emerging health technologies in fields like AI, genomics, neuroscience, and robotics. We are particularly interested in how knowledge from the African humanities could inform the ethical questions posed by these technologies. We also explore the opportunities for further conceptual, empirical, and theoretical work in the African humanities that are made possible by these scientific and technological developments.

What is our approach to ethics?

We understand ethics not only as the routine specification and application of rules or principles, but as a space to contemplate the human condition and the flourishing of all life. We understand the human in relational terms, emphasizing the interconnectedness of human, animal, and planetary wellbeing. Recognising how histories of injustices and domination have and continue to shape the present, we emphasize ethics as a normative project that it is worldmaking, concerned with imagining and fostering a more just world.



The Ethics Lab leads the development and implementation of a two-year taught MSc degree in Global Health Ethics at the University of Cape Town Faculty of Health Sciences (UCT FHS). The Ethics Lab also offers ethics seminars to diverse audiences across the university and to the broader public. Contact for any enquiries.

Research Development Program

This programme is about people from Africa and elsewhere coming, thinking, and writing together to explore different and complementary perspectives on the ethical questions posed by new and emerging health technologies. The programme will aim to create convivial, critical spaces and opportunities for reflection and debate through a range of online and in person activities. Contact  for any enquiries.

Ethics lab diagram

Global Health Solidarity Index

This work focuses on the development of a solidarity index for global health funders. In this project, we will elaborate a practical approach to enacting pluriversality in bioethics and identify accounts of solidarity from literatures and practices around the world that could inform the development of an index. The project involves a collaboration with research partners across the world under leadership of Prof Caesar Atuire at the University of Ghana. Contact for enquiries.