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Director, Essex Autonomy Project, University of Essex

Educated at Cambridge University (BA, MA) and the University of California at Berkeley (PhD), Wayne is a philosopher by training. His principal philosophical interests include issues of judgement and decision-making and the theory of agency. Since 2009, much of his teaching and research has been at the interdisciplinary intersection of philosophy, human rights, and health care policy. He has worked closely with clinicians and service users to develop a better understanding of decision-making under conditions of serious mental illness, and has provided research support to government bodies and NGOs across the UK and around the world in ongoing efforts to bring mental health and mental capacity law into compliance with modern human rights standards.

He is the Director of The Essex Autonomy Project, a research and public policy initiative which aims to clarify the ideal of self-determination, with particular attention to the vocations of care (healthcare, eldercare, psychiatric care). He currently leads a workstream associated with the Wellcome-funded Mental Health and Justice research project and directs a UKRI COVID-19 Rapid Response project on Human Rights and Locked-Down Care Homes.


  • –present
    Professor, School of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex