• CSU
  • University of Melbourne


Economics and Innovation

The program focuses on central ethical issues arising in the economic sphere. These include the justice of national and global economic arrangements, such as taxation, fiscal, labour and property law, and financial and trading regimes. Specific areas include markets in education and the economics of climate change. The program also examines corporate responsibilities in the spheres of finance, profitability, sustainability and human rights, and distributive justice. It aims to make a major contribution to the ethical understanding of innovation and technology. Program members realize that technical, scientific, legal and social science expertise is vital, and work with practitioners in the relevant professions.


Research in this program examines a range of issues that arise from the nature and value of the natural, and also the artificial environment, and our relationship with them. These include issues of justice and responsibility in relation to possession of, access to, and exploitation of land, water, and other (renewable and non-renewable) natural resources, ethical issues in climate change mitigation and adaptation, including those involving geo-engineering, and the human role in the anthropocene. 


This program addresses issues in bioethics, healthcare ethics, and public health ethics. This includes conceptual work on the ethics of procreation, the ethics of providing medical treatment to vulnerable groups such as children, dual use issues in the biological sciences, and the distinction between medical treatment and human enhancement. It also includes work on practical ethical issues arising in healthcare, including moral and regulatory challenges of experimental therapies, difficulties facing medical research ethics committees, and the problem of determining when conscientious objections are legitimate in healthcare.


This program addresses a variety of conceptual and practical ethical issues that are generated for the most part by the phenomena of war, humanitarian intervention, terrorism, crime and corruption. These include the nature and application of Just War Theory, morality and self-defense, principles of criminal liability, justification for police use of force, ethics of counter-terrorism tactics, anti-corruption systems and ethical issues in cyber-security.


2015 Annual Report [.pdf]

CAPPE Events

Seminar 28th September

Norvo Lo - La Trobe University

This paper discusses social attitudes towards feeding neighbourhood wild birds. It connects different and often opposing attitudes on the issue to three schools of philosophy regarding animals and nature. These include animal liberation ethics, wilderness preservation ethics,and anthropocentrism. 

Contact CAPPE for more information.


Professor Seumas Miller

Institutional Corruption and The Capital Markets  More

Fixing the Fix - Benchmark Reform and the Future of Financial Regulation  More

Designing-in-Ethics: A Compulsary Retirement Savings System  More

Dr Stephen Clarke

On Religious Violence, ABC Western Plains 'Mornings', radio interview  More

Past media events

Dr Michael Selgelid

Ethical Issues in Biotechnology

Justice and the Human Good
Telephone +61 (02) 6125-4355
Facsimile +61 (02) 6125-6579
View my cv (.pdf)



Michael Selgelid earned a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of California, San Diego. He is a Senior Research Fellow at CAPPE at the Australian National University, where he is also Head of the WHO Collaborating Center for Bioethics and Deputy Director of the National Centre for Biosecurity. He was previously the Sesquicentenary Lecturer in Bioethics in the Centre for Values, Ethics and the law in Medicine (VELIM) and the Unit for History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney, where he coordinated the proposal and development of a successful new Postgraduate Program in Bioethics. He also held previous appointments in the Department of Philosophy and the Bioethics Division (School of Clinical Medicine) at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Fields of special interest

  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Professional and Applied Ethics
  • Science and Ethics
  • Bioethics
  • Public Health Ethics
  • Ethics and Infectious Disease
  • Ethics and Genetics
  • Biosecurity and Bioterrorism
  • The Dual-Use Dilemma
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Health Care in Developing Countries
  • Tuberculosis
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Ethics



Neugenics: Genetically-Informed Reproductive Decision Making. (Manuscript/proposal under review.)

Ethics of Dual Use Science and Technology. Co-authored with Seumas Miller. Work in progress; under contract. 2008.

Health Rights . Edited by Michael J. Selgelid and Thomas Pogge. Forthcoming, Ashgate, 2008. ISBN 0 7546 2794 2. Work in progress; under contract.

Ethical and Philosophical Consideration of the Dual-Use Dilemma in the Biological Sciences. Co-authored with Seumas Miller. Dordrecht, NE, Springer, 2008. For review see here:

Ethics and Infectious Disease. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 2006. Edited by Michael J. Selgelid, Margaret P. Battin, and Charles B. Smith. See

Policing Virtue? Proceedings of the 7th Annual Seminar of the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine. Sydney: VELIM ; 2004, 98pp. ISBN 1 84687 716. Edited by Chris Jordens, Ian Kerridge, and Michael J. Selgelid.

Societal Decision Making and the New Eugenics. In the Grey Series of the European Academy (Europaische Akademie) for the Study of Consequences of Scientific and Technological Advance, Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler GmbH, Germany, Nr. 30, March 2002, 62 pp., available (free) at