Public values, transparency and governance

Socially acceptable and ethically robust policy needs to engage with the current scientific pandemic evidence, the wider societal context, and publics and stakeholders whose lives are being transformed by it. Public health ethics have always had to balance collective and individual concerns, and trade-offs between different principles are required. Navigating routes through these requires transparency and dialogue to allow full range of different values, interests and perspectives in policy making and governance processes. In this way, dialogue and inclusive understandings can shape how evidence is generated, considered and acted upon and policy and interventions developed.

We conduct rapid synthesis of public and stakeholder values and attitudes and engagements on key issues; and develop approaches to their integration with policy solutions, to promote solidarity and trust in governance systems at a time when individuals’ and societies’ core interests and values, including health, well-being, equity, social justice and liberty, are at stake.

This workstream is led by Hugh Whittall from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and Professor Sarah Cunningham-Burley from the University of Edinburgh. The work is being supported by PhD student Jamie Webb.