Renowned Oxford University Professor marks the launch of Swansea University’s new ethics and law institute

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Internationally renowned political philosopher Professor Jonathan Wolff (University of Oxford) will deliver a lecture on “Gambling and the Vulnerable: Ethics and the Regulation of Gambling in the U.K” at the launch of Swansea University’s new ethics and law institute.

Prof. Wolff’s inaugural lecture marks the launch of the Research Institute for Ethics and Law (RIEL) at Swansea University. The Institute brings together philosophers, lawyers, political scientists, and natural scientists from across the University’s colleges to develop ethically informed teaching, and research collaboration, and to enhance research ethics and governance.

The new Research Institute for Ethics and Law (RIEL) consists of representatives from all of the Swansea University Colleges/Schools. 

RIEL has five principal aims:

  • Research: To contribute world leading research to the fields of Applied Ethics and Law
  • Leadership: To guide and mentor Swansea University staff in research, teaching, and policy with respect to Applied Ethics and Law
  • Integrity: To support the Swansea University research integrity processes
  • Consultancy: To provide ethical and legal advice to national and international policy makers in relevant fields (e.g. health, police services, criminal justice, sports governance, drug policy)
  • Teaching: To develop the teaching of Applied Ethics and Law across Swansea University’s undergraduate and graduate curricula.

Each of the Colleges/Schools has developed their own Research Ethics and Governance Committee which will ethically review all research by staff and students.

Speaking about the exciting development of RIEL Professor Richard B Davies, Vice Chancellor Swansea University said: “The establishment of RIEL is part of a wider drive for developing Swansea University as a leading institution in responsible research governance.

“Having a co-ordinated approach to research ethics and governance across both campuses will enable Swansea University to bring a unified approach to this important area of our work. Our Research Ethics and Governance teams will be responsible for developing and monitoring University policy and providing guidance and support to researchers in the important areas of research governance and ethics.”

RIEL will be hosting a series of public lectures from eminent speakers on a variety of subjects over the coming year.

Director of RIEL Professor Mike McNamee said: “ We are delighted to welcome Prof Wolff to our launch event, since he has been at the vanguard of philosophically informed policy development in a number of socially important practices bringing rigour and clarity to real world problems.”

The launch takes place on Tuesday 13 December at the Faraday Lecture Theatre, Singleton Campus, Swansea University.

A reception begins at 6.15 p.m. with  Professor Wolff’s talk starting at 6.55pm following introductions by the Vice Chancellor, Senor Pro Vice Chancellor Hilary Lappin Scott and Professor Mike McNamee Director of RIEL.

Jonathan Wolff

Prof. Wolff is the Blavatnik Chair in Public Policy at the University of Oxford. His work centres on questions of equality, disadvantage and social justice. His work in recent years has also turned to applied topics such as public safety, disability, gambling, and the regulation of recreational drugs, which he has discussed in his books Ethics and Public Policy: A Philosophical Inquiry (Routledge 2011) and The Human Right to Health (Norton 2012). Earlier works include Disadvantage (OUP 2007), with Avner de-Shalit; An Introduction to Political Philosophy (OUP, 1996, third edition 2016); Why Read Marx Today? (OUP 2002); and Robert Nozick (Polity 1991).

He is an external member of the Board of Science of the British Medical Association, and a Trustee of the Responsible Gambling Trust, for whom he chairs their research committee.