Reader in Political Theory and Interdisciplinary Ethics, University of Warwick

Keith Hyams is a Reader in Political Theory and Interdisciplinary Ethics. He leads the Interdisciplinary Ethics Research Group's work on Ethics in Climate and Development, and Future Governance.

Keith's research interests are animated by three questions:

1. How can we achieve adaptation to climate change, and international development more generally, in a way that is both ethical and equitable?
2. How can emerging technologies like AI and biotech be governed in a way that maximises the opportunities that they present while minimising their risks?
3. What can we learn from psychology about how to build political and economic institutions that can better cope with the environmental and technological challenges that humanity faces?

Keith currently leads the Leverhulme Research Project 'Anthropogenic Global Catastrophic Risk: The Challenge of Governance', which looks at the governance of potentially catastrophic risks arising from artificial intelligence and biotech. He also leads the British Academy Research Project 'Tackling Climate-Related Health Risks in Urban Slums', and the AHRC project 'Inserting Ethics into Adaptation and Resilience Policy'. He is an advisor to the Cabinet Office on the ethics of AI and data, and a member of the Expert Advisory Group on Safeguarding for the UK Collaborative on Development Research. His work on the Politics of Papua has been cited by MPs, including the then leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn MP.

Keith's previous research focused on the philosophy of equality and fairness, particularly in respect of distributions of risk. In 2015 he was awarded the Inaugural Sanders Prize in Political Philosophy for his work on equality and risk. He has also published on the ethics of consent, on justice and sustainability, and on political justification.

Keith holds a DPhil in political philosophy (Oxford), a BPhil in philosophy (Oxford), and a BA in philosophy and psychology (Oxford). He has been a Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto (2009-10), a Visiting Hoover Fellow at the Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics, University of Louvain (2012), and a Visiting Academic in the Department of Philosophy, University of Oxford (2012-14). He has lived in and worked with social movements in various countries, including Rwanda, Guyana, India, Peru, Nigeria, Cuba, Mexico, West Papua, and the Middle East.


  • –present
    Reader in Political Theory and Interdisciplinary Ethics, University of Warwick


    University of Oxford, DPhil in Philosophy