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MPhil in Health, Medicine and Society


Hatton Lecturer in the Philosophy of Public Health



I am a Senior Lecturer, with research and teaching interests in a variety of topics at the intersection of philosophy of science, applied ethics, social epistemology, and political philosophy.

My main research to date has clustered around a series of concepts which raise both ethical and epistemological challenges: certainty, communication, chance and categorisation. I am particularly interested in how these concepts are used in policy-making, and have explored case studies ranging from Lysenkoist genetics to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to contemporary alcohol policy. In my current research, I am particularly interested in debates over the early detection and prevention of cancer. For some initial thoughts on this topic, please see here.

From 2015 to 2018, I co-directed with Anna Alexandrova a project on the 'Limits of the Numerical' at CRASSH. I am also affiliated with the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, with Cambridge University's Public Health Strategic Research Network, and with the Early Detection Programme at the Cambridge Cancer Centre.

For more details, please see my webpage at or my Google Scholar page.


Stephen John on the HPS Department website

Stephen John


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