first Annual

2019 Yale-Oxford BioXphi Summit:

October 4th-October 5th at Yale University

New Haven, CT

The first-ever bioXphi workshop, bringing together senior and up-and-coming researchers to present their latest empirical work at the intersection of empirical bioethics and philosophy.


Introducing bioXphi

Experimental bioethicists use the methods of experimental philosophy, social psychology, and cognitive science to understand the individual-level, interpersonal, and wider social processes involved in moral and medical decision making at the heart of clinical judgment and patient experience …

Traditional bioethics grew out of the need to make real-world moral decisions in response to gross human rights abuses, from Nazi war crimes to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, in the context of rapid technological innovations in healthcare. In the aftermath of World War II, there were incredible advances in life-sustaining medicine, with a corresponding need to decide who should have access to certain treatments in the face of limited resources, and to develop an agreed-upon moral foundation to guide the use of new technologies and prevent their misapplication. Notions of informed consent, respect for persons (autonomy), beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice soon dominated bioethical analysis.

But how do these and other principles apply to particular cases? What does it really mean for a person to give informed consent — and what goes into that process, psychologically? How do doctors actually think about harm and benefit, especially when there is disagreement about what constitutes a harm or benefit for a particular patient? What is the role of social context in shaping these kinds of judgements? When policymakers decide about fair distribution of resources, what factors influence their intuitions about what justice demands? And how do proxy decision makers make sense of respect for persons when personhood is not entirely clear, as in the case of fetuses, or individuals with advanced dementia? 

Although bioethicists have occasionally drawn on empirical data to supplement normative bioethical analysis, the emerging field of experimental philosophical bioethics — or bioXphi — seeks to systematically characterize the underlying cognitive processes that bear on moral judgments in a healthcare context. [Continue reading here.]




Conference Details


Please note: if you are not an invited speaker but would like to attend the empirical talks on Friday, you must complete the registration form and pay a registration fee that can be found at

The conference will be held at Yale University’s New Haven Campus at the Whitney Humanities Center.

Address of and Contact of Conference Center:

53 Wall Street New Haven CT, 06511


We have secured rooms for conference presenters ONLY at the Best Western in New Haven. Feel free to book at your earliest convenience.

Address and Contact of Hotel:

490 Saw Mill Road New Haven CT, 06516



We are grateful for the generous support from our sponsors.

The Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics

The Program for Biomedical Ethics at the Yale Medical School

Whitney Humanities Center

Ethox Centre, University of Oxford


At a glance

Conference Itinerary

We couldn’t be more honored to host some of the most interesting and innovative minds working in empirical bioethics and experimental philosophy. Here’s a brief overview of the conference line-up. For more details, click the link to the complete schedule below.


OCtober 3:

Welcoming Dinner Reception

Get settled, unpack, and join us for an informal reception dinner at 6pm. Location and details coming soon.

october 4:

Conference day 1

Full day of empirical talks with a break for lunch.

Schedule at a Glance

8:30-9:00 Registration & Breakfast

*Empirical Talks*

1:00-1:50 Lunch Break

*Empirical Talks*

5:30 Closing Remarks and Cocktail Reception


Lynn Jansen, Steve Latham, Mark Mercurio, Blanca Rodriguez, David Rodriguez-Arias, Ivar Hannikainan, Emilian Mihailov, Jim A.C Everett, Adam Lerner, Joshua May, Nina Strohminger, Brian D. Earp, Katie Tabb, Mathew Leobowitz, Vilius Dranseika, Joanna Demaree Cotton

October 5:

Conference Day 2

Half-day of empirical talks with panel presentations and a round table discussion in the afternoon.

Schedule at a Glance

9:00-9:30 Continental Breakfast

*Empirical Talks*

11:30-12:30 Panel Presentations (Ethox Centre & Berman/Hastings Center)

12:30-1:00 Working Lunch

1:00-2:30 Roundtable Discussion (Position Statement Development)

2:30 Closing Remarks


Adam Feltz, Julia Kolak, Mikey Dunn, Mike Parker, Mark Sheehan, Jeremy Sugarman, Gail Geller, Jeffrey Kahn, Erik Parens

Contact Us


Interested in bioXphi? Want to have us post one of your papers on the site? Reach out using the form below. For urgent or time sensitive inquiries, please direct all inquiries to Julia Kolak at

*All non-invited conferences attendees must RSVP separately by using the registration tab and paying the registration fee.

Name *

Personal Contact

Conference Organizer:
Brian D. Earp

Conference Co-Organizer:

Julia Kolak