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Stephen Wilkinson

(he, him)
Professor of Bioethics, Lancaster University

Stephen Wilkinson is Distinguished Professor of Bioethics, and Associate Dean for Research for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Much of his work is about reproductive ethics and the regulation of reproductive technologies, especially the ethics of selective reproduction (practices that involve choosing between different possible future people). A book on this topic (Choosing Tomorrow’s Children, Oxford University Press) was published in 2010. Since then, particular interests have included ethical issues raised by uterus transplantation, non-invasive pre-natal testing, mitochondrial replacement, new sources of eggs and sperm, genome editing, surrogacy, and public funding for infertility treatment.

Another abiding interest is the commercial exploitation of the human body, which was the subject of his first book, Bodies for Sale (Routledge, 2003).

From 2013 to 2021, he was the joint leader (with Prof Rosamund Scott) of a large Wellcome-funded research programme about the Ethics and Regulation of Human Reproductive Donation. Since 2022, he has led another large Wellcome project called The Future of Human Reproduction: transformative agendas and methods for the Humanities and Social Sciences, a collaboration with Lancaster colleagues from Design, English Literature, Law, Linguistics, Philosophy, & Psychology. He has previously held research grants from the AHRB, AHRC, British Academy, and Leverhulme Trust.


  • –present
    Professor of Bioethics, Lancaster University


  • 1992 
    University of Sussex, DPhil