Programme Leaders


Professor Julian Savulescu

Julian Savulescu holds the Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. He is the Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics within the Faculty of Philosophy. He is Director of the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics, which is one of three strategic centres in biomedical ethics in the UK funded by the Wellcome Trust. He is also Director of the Institute for Science and Ethics (which is one of the 10 founding Institutes within the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. He is also Principal Investigator for a major Arts and Humanities Research Council grant on Cognitive Science and Religious Conflict, and Co-Investigator of an Economic and Social Research Council grant on Geoengineering.

He is a recognised world leader in the field of practical ethics. He is author of over 250 publications. He has an H index of 32 and 100 cited publications. He has given over 120 invited international presentations and over 280 in total. He is Editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics (the top ranked journal in Bioethics according to Google metrics, July 2013). and founding editor of Journal of Practical Ethics, an open access journal in Practical Ethics launched in 2013. His book, co-authored with Ingmar Persson, Unfit for the Future: The Need for Moral Enhancement was published by OUP in July 2012.

In 2010 he was appointed an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Florey Neuroscience Institutes, one of the world’s top 10 neuroscience institutes, for a period of 3 years.  In 2009, he was awarded the title of Monash Distinguished Alumni for outstanding achievement, where he is also a Sir Louis Matheson Distinguished Visiting Professor . He was also selected as the winner of the ‘Thinkers’ category of The Australian’s Top 100 Emerging Leaders awards, presented by the Australian Prime Minister at Parliament House. He has presented at conferences across the world including the World Economic Forum at Davos (2009) and the Mont Pelerin Society’s Annual Meeting in Tokyo in 2008.

Distinguished lectures include the Tanner Lectures (2009), the Crown Lectures (2008), Pierce Lectures, Herbert Spencer Lectures. He was the Australian Society for Medical Research’s (ASMR) National Lecturer and Medallist in 2005 and presented to the Royal Institution in 2009. He has made a significant to public understanding and discussion, with over 400 appearances on TV, radio and in the print media, including features on Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope, SBS Insight, and various national news broadcasts. He has been profiled in Sekret Firmy (Russia), Knack (Belgium), The Guardian (UK), and has opinion pieces in The Age (Australia), Focus Magazine and Der Freitag (Germany), New York Times (US), De Standaard (Belgium) and many others.

Photo by John Robinson


Professor Martin Davies

Martin Davies was born in Guildford, Surrey, England and migrated to Australia with his family when he was seven years old. He attended Scotch College, Melbourne, and then studied philosophy and mathematics at Monash University, where his teachers included A C (Camo) Jackson and John Crossley. He came to Oxford for the first time in 1973, as a BPhil and then DPhil student at New College, supervised by Dana Scott, Christopher Peacocke and Gareth Evans.

After completing his doctorate, he taught at the University of Essex for a year and was then a Fellow by Examination at Magdalen College Oxford before moving in 1981 to Birkbeck College London, where he was Lecturer and then Reader in Philosophy. While at Birkbeck, he was one of the founding editors of the journal Mind & Language and a founder of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology.

In January 1993, he returned to Oxford as Wilde Reader in Mental Philosophy – a philosophy post located in the Department of Experimental Psychology – and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College. Davies was Wilde Reader until 2000, when he left Oxford to take up a Professorship in the Philosophy Program, Research School of Social Sciences, at the Australian National University. The Wilde Readership was converted to a Professorship and John Campbell was the first Wilde Professor from 2001 to 2004. Davies returned to Oxford as the second Wilde Professor in 2006.

Like many other philosophy graduate students in the 1970s, Martin Davies worked in philosophy of language and an early paper with Lloyd Humberstone contributed to the foundations of two-dimensional semantics. Most of his research has been in the areas of philosophy of mind (for example, on externalism about mental content) and philosophy of cognitive science (on tacit knowledge, the debate between the theory theory and mental simulation approaches to everyday psychological understanding, levels of description, cognitive neuropsychology, and delusions). The work on externalism and on levels of description led to work in epistemology on the problem of armchair knowledge.