Professor Michael J. Selgelid

Director, Centre for Human Bioethics

Professor Michael Selgelid is Director of  Monash University’s  Centre for Human Bioethics and the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Bioethics therein.  He is an Adjunct Professor in the  School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine and is a Monash-Warwick Honorary Professor in the Department of Politics & International Studies at the University of Warwick (UK).

He is a member of  the Board of Directors of the International Association of Bioethics and member  of the Scientific Committee of the Brocher Foundation in Hermance (Geneva), Switzerland.  He serves on the Ethics Review Board of, and has been involved in an Ethics Consultation Project with, Médecins Sans Frontières.  He is a member of  the General Ethical Issues Sub-committee of the Alfred Hospital Ethics Committee (in Melbourne).

His main research focus  is public health ethics—with emphasis on ethical issues associated with biotechnology and infectious disease. He has well over 100 publications in bioethics. He co-authored Ethical and Philosophical Consideration of the Dual-Use Dilemma in the Biological Sciences (Springer 2008) and co-edited On The Dual Uses of Science and Ethics:  Principles, Practices, and Prospects (ANE E Press 2013);  Ethics and Security Aspects of Infectious Disease Control: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Ashgate 2012); Emergency Ethics (Ashgate 2012); Infectious Disease Ethics (Springer 2011); Health Rights (Ashgate 2010); and Ethics and Infectious Disease (Blackwell, 2006).

He edits a book series in Public Health Ethics Analysis for Springer and a book series in Practical Ethics and Public Policy for ANU E Press. He is Co-Editor of Monash Bioethics Review and an Associate Editor of Journal of Medical Ethics.

Michael earned a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University; and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of California, San Diego, under the supervision of Philip Kitcher.


Among other engagements with the World Health Organisation Professor Selgelid served as a member of the Ethical Issues in Public Health Surveillance Guideline Development Group, Advisor at the Expert Consultation on the Use of Placebo in Vaccine Trials, member of the Working Group on Ethical Issues in Research and Surveillance: Epidemics, Pandemics and Public Health Crises. He has also served as member of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) Working Group on H5N1 Vaccine, as Advisor on Ethical Issues in Pandemic Influenza Planning, and as a member of the Task Force Addressing Ethical Issues in TB Control and Care. He participated as an Advisor to the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee regarding Ebola and as an Advisor to the Consultation on the Ethical Considerations for Use of Unregistered Interventions for Ebola Virus Disease, within the framework of the 2014-2015 Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in West Africa.  In April 2016 he participated in the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Zika Ethics Consultation;  and he is currently a member of the IHR Emergency Committee on Zika Virus and Observed Increase in Neurological Disorders and Neonatal Malformations.


  • Professor Michael Selgelid is the Director of the Monash Bioethics Centre (formerly named Centre for Human Bioethics), and he also regularly provides expert advice to a number of international bodies, including the World Health Organization (WHO). Last year, Professor Selgelid was commissioned to write a White Paper for the US Government on the ethics of ... Read more
  •   In 2015 Professor Michael Selgelid was commissioned by the US National Institutes of Health to complete a White Paper providing ethical analysis of “Gain-of-Function” Research. Gain-of-function (GOF) research involves experimentation that increases  the transmissibility and/or virulence of pathogens.  The ultimate objective of such research is to better inform public health and preparedness efforts and/or development of ... Read more
  • As of 13 June 2016, Professor Michael Selgelid has been appointed Chair of the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Bioethics the next two years. In addition to the WHO Collaborating Centre for Bioethics at Monash, Network members include: Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health, Columbia University, New York Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, ... Read more
  • In Monash Magazine–Ebola and the Ethics Question ebola-homepage-banner   “Ebola and the Ethics Question” Brad Collis Monash Magazine February 2015 Read article
  • New Book–On the Dual Uses of Science and Ethics dual use cover On The Dual Uses of Science and Ethics:  Principles, Practices, and Prospects.  Co-edited by Brian Rappert and Michael J. Selgelid.  Canberra:  ANU E Press, 2013. This volume is open access, freely available online here.
  • New Book–Emergency Ethics Emergency Ethics cover A.M. Viens and Michael J. Selgelid (eds.)  Emergency Ethics.  Volume I of The Library of Essays on Emergency Ethics, Law and Policy.  Farnham, UK:  Ashgate, 2012.   For more details see:   Download flier    
  • New Book–Ethics and Security Aspects of Infectious Disease Control: Interdisciplinary Perspectives ENEMARK PPC(240X156)path Christian Enemark and Michael J. Selgelid (eds.)  Ethics and Security Aspects of Infectious Disease Control:  Interdisciplinary Perspectives.  Co-edited by Farnham, UK:  Ashgate, 2012.   Reviews:  ‘An excellent composition of scholarly analysis and reflection. It helps to clarify the concepts, arguments and further needs for research, education and policy development in a contested area of Public Health. It is ...
  • Infectious Disease Ethics ID Ethics Book Cover   Michael J. Selgelid, Angela McLean, Nimalan Arinaminpathy, and Julian Savulescu (eds.)  Infectious Disease Ethics:  Limiting Liberty in Contexts of Contagion.  Dordrecht, NE:  Springer, 2011.  For more details see: Download flier
  • Health Rights Cover    Health Rights.  Co-edited  by Michael J. Selgelid and  Thomas Pogge.  Farnham, UK:  Ashgate, 2010.  For more details see: Download flier
  • Ethical and Philosophical Consideration of the Dual-Use Dilemma in the Biological Sciences B_SPR102_Miller_ PB.indd   Seumas Miller and Michael J. Selgelid.  Ethical and Philosophical Consideration of the Dual-Use Dilemma in the Biological Sciences.   Dordrecht, NE: Springer, 2008.  For more details see:   Read review Download flier
  • Ethics and Infectious Disease front cover   Michael J. Selgelid, Margaret P. Battin, and Charles B. Smith (eds.) Ethics and Infectious Disease.    Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 2006.  For more details see:,subjectCd-PL20.html Read review
  • Societal Decision Making and the New Eugenics 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
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