About Me




I am a moral philosopher with expertise in bioethics. I work on both applied and theoretical issues in ethics. Below is a more detailed account of my background and current research.

Current Academic Position

Lecturer in Medical Ethics [Permanent][March 2017 – Present], Lancaster Medical School, Lancaster University.


Previous Academic Positions

Research Associate [1 September 2016 – 28 February 2017] , Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, Lancaster University.

Research Associate [2013-2016], Centre of Medical Law and Ethics, The Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London.


  • PhD in Bioethics (Moral Philosophy), University of Cambridge [2014]

Thesis title: Should children be told if they were conceived using donated reproductive tissue: the ethics of disclosure and the welfare of children

Supervisors: Professor Susan Golombok & Professor Hallvard Lillehammer

  • Master of Bioethics (Moral Philosophy), New York University [2009]
  • Honors BSc in Bioethics (Moral Philosophy) & Life Sciences, University of Toronto [2008]

I graduated from the University of Toronto in 2008 with an Honours BSc in Bioethics (moral philosophy) and life sciences.  While completing my undergraduate studies, I also held research assistantships at the University of Toronto Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology and the Joint Centre for Bioethics.

In 2009 I graduated from NYU with an MA in bioethics. While at NYU, I also worked with the NGO ‘We Act for Environmental Justice’ to help research and design a model of community based ethics review for public health research.

After being awarded a Wellcome Trust PhD Studentship in Bioethics, I went on to complete a PhD at the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge (Corpus Christi College). My thesis was titled: ‘Should children be told if they were conceived using donated reproductive tissue: The ethics of disclosure and the welfare of children’ (a University of Cambridge Research news article on my work can be found here). I have given evidence and contributed research to a number of policy-based consultations held by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the Department of Health and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

In 2012 I co-edited (with Martin Richards and Guido Pennings) a published volume titled Reproductive donation: practices, policies and bioethics (Cambridge University Press). I have also co-edited a new book with Professor Rosamund Scott, Professor Stephen Wilkinson, Professor Susan Golombok, and Professor Martin Richards, which is titled ‘Regulating Reproductive Donation’ (Cambridge University Press)(2016).


Email: j.appleby@lancaster.ac.uk

Twitter: @johnbappleby

Google Scholar Profile

University – Personal Webpage 

Office Address:

Room B28
Lancaster Medical School
Furness College
Lancaster University
Lancaster, LA1 4YW
United Kingdom