highlight photo


The W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics (the Centre) is an interdisciplinary research unit within the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. The Centre was created in 1993 with endowments by W. Maurice Young (LLD) and the Bentall Foundation. The Centre’s affairs are managed by a Coordinating Committee representing faculty, students and research associates, chaired by the Director of the Centre.

The Centre’s approach to other UBC academic and research units follows from our position as an interdisciplinary academic centre, and from our mission to advance the research agenda of applied ethics. A number of departments and units—including Animal Welfare, the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability, Nursing and Philosophy—have contributed outstanding students to the Centre, while our research and teaching/supervision now ties us to Medical Genetics, Law, Political Science, Journalism, Forestry, Botany and Computing Sciences. These relationships and the products of our collaborations place the Centre at the forefront of the movement to create “transdisciplinary” research.


The Centre's mission is to advance research and teaching of applied ethics, conceived as the application of normative methods to core issues in science and technology ethics and policy, organizational ethics, animal welfare, health, the environment, and research ethics.

The Centre is an interdisciplinary group of philosophers and social scientists who employ diverse methodologies to a wide range of problems, including healthcare practices, business and professional procedures, new technologies and environmental issues.


The Centre aims to conduct world-class research in applied ethics and to educate the next generation of applied ethics researchers and practitioners. It has, in part, met the challenges of working in this field by successfully seeking funding for several major research programs and a growing number of graduate and post-doctoral students.

The Young Memorial Lectures

The creation and establishment of the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics is due to the generosity and leadership of W. Maurice and Mary Margaret Young.  It was their vision and initial endowment for the W. Maurice Young Chair of Applied Ethics that led to the Centre’s foundation in 1992.  The Youngs also endowed the Centre’s Chair in Business Ethics, the Mary Maurice Young Professorship in Applied Ethics, Maurice Young Visiting Lecturers Program and the Centre’s Emerging Opportunities fund.

The memory of their ethical leadership and service continues to inspire all those associated with the Centre.  It is for these reasons that this annual lecture series has been created. 


The following links take you to a number of innovative web-based surveys developed by researchers at the University of British Columbia. The purpose of the surveys is to facilitate well-informed discussion about complex issues related to ethics (including animal welfare) and scientific and technological developments. We look forward to receiving Your Views!

Salmon Genomics and the Public 

 Neuroethics Survey

 Animal Use Survey


 Forest Research Survey

 The Ethics Forum


 Food Preferences Survey

 Robot Ethics (NEW)


Upcoming Events

Ethics in Mining Symposium 
CIM 2014 Convention
May 11-14, 2014
Vancouver, BC
25th Annual Canadian Bioethics Society Conference
Looking Back; Looking Forward
May 28-31, 2014
Vancouver, BC

Site Credits