We are pleased to announce the appointment of David Archard as the new Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. David is Professor of Philosophy at the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, at Queen’s University Belfast. He was Deputy Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority until the end of 2016.

“I am delighted to be offered this fantastic opportunity,” said Professor Archard. “I have actively followed the Council’s work and have seen its reputation and influence grow nationally and internationally over the years. The vital role it plays in providing independent advice to policy makers and in stimulating debate in the public interest will, I believe, become even more important in the future. I am privileged to be offered the role, and look forward to working with colleagues in taking forward the Council’s work over the next five years.”

David was appointed to the five-year position by the Council’s funders, the Nuffield Foundation, Medical Research Council and Wellcome.

Hugh Whittall, Director of the Council said: “We are delighted with this appointment. David is a highly respected academic thinker, with an impressive record of public service. This, and the fact he has been engaged with the work of the Council for a number of years, will be of enormous benefit to us. David is joining us at a really exciting phase as we develop our new strategic plan and start to shape our next work programme. I very much look forward to working with him to ensure our continued success.”

Professor Archard takes over from Jonathan Montgomery, Professor of Health Care Law at University College London, Chair of the Health Research Authority and newly appointed member of the European Commission Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, who chaired the Council from 2012. Under Jonathan’s chairmanship, the Council’s publications included reports on the ethics of novel neurotechnologies, children in clinical research, and emerging biotechnologies; a review on inherited mitochondrial disorders; and a joint project with learned societies on the culture of scientific research.

David Archard: biography

David Archard is an internationally renowned philosopher who has published extensively in applied ethics, moral and political philosophy, and jurisprudence. He is particularly well known for his work on the rights of children and the status of childhood, his Children, Rights and Childhood being the classic philosophical introduction to the topic with its third edition published in 2014. He has also written on the family, the ethics of procreation, sexual consent, and the relation of philosophy to public policy.He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Universities of St Andrews, Bergen, South Florida, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Beijing Normal. He was the Corti Fellow at the Ethikzentrum, University of Zurich in 2013.

He served as Honorary Chair of the Society for Applied Philosophy from 2005 to 2010 and is its Honorary Vice-President.

He was a Member of Arts and Humanities Research Council Advisory Board (2013– 2015) and Chair of its ‘Science in Culture’ Advisory Group.

He was for eleven years (2005–2016) a Member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, and latterly its Deputy Chair. For a number of years he chaired the HFEA’s Statutory Approvals Committee that considered the licensing of conditions for which preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) should be permitted, and the issuing of special directions for the import and export of gametes.

He is also currently a member of the Clinical Ethics Committee of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children.

He was the Deputy Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Party that produced in 2006 its report on Critical care decisions in fetal and neonatal medicine: ethical issues.

David lives in Belfast with his wife, Bernarde, who is a photographic artist.

Notes to Editors

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics is an independent body that examines and reports on ethical issues in biology and medicine. Over the past 25 years, the Council has built an international reputation for advising policy makers and stimulating debate in bioethics. The Council aims to inform policy through timely and thorough consideration of ethical implications, by engaging a wide range of people to inform its deliberation, and by helping ensure that society benefits from developments in bioscience and medicine in a way that is consistent with public values.


Dr Shaun Griffin

Phone: +44 (0)207 323 6232

Mobile: 07551 159670

Email: sgriffin@nuffieldbioethics.org