Moral reflection in education and research

The Ethics Institute was founded to coordinate and promote ethical reflection in Utrecht University's research and education. Its members study practical, moral issues in their societal, social and political context. The institute, which is part of Philosophy and embedded in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, aims to teach students, teachers and researchers to reflect on the moral aspects of their discipline. Its research and education are focused on philosophical analysis of real-world problems, thus connecting applied work with fundamental theoretical reflection.


History of the Ethics Institute

The Rector Magnificus of Utrecht University founded the Ethics Institute in 2003. At that time, the institute was able to draw on fifteen years’ experience of research, teaching, and advice in the field of bioethics and health law. Since its foundation, the institute has concentrated particularly on ethical questions relating to animal welfare, health, and reflection on moral considerations in practical ethics. It has developed and given courses for students of Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Medicine, Biology, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, among others. This has led to the creation of many different types of partnership between the various faculties of the university in the field of both teaching and research, which testify to the interdisciplinary character of ethics as a discipline. The Ethics Institute also maintains relationships with parties outside the UU, such as researchers from other universities, but also companies and other institutions.