Daniel Wikler

Mary B. Saltonstall Professor of Ethics and Population Health

Department of Global Health and Population

François-Xavier Bagnoud Building
651 Huntington Avenue, Room FXB 643C
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
Phone: 617-432-2365
Fax: 617-432-4310

Maynard S. Clark


Ph.D., 1976 UCLA


Daniel Wikler’s current research interests are ethical issues in population and international health, including the allocation of health resources, health research involving human subjects, and ethical dilemmas arising in public health practice.

He served as the first Staff Ethicist for the World Health Organization, and remains a consultant to several WHO programs. Prof. Wikler was co-founder and second president of the International Association of Bioethics and has served on the advisory boards of the Asian Bioethics Association and the Pan American Health Organization Regional Program in Bioethics.

Professor Wikler is presently co-director of the Program on Ethical Issues in International Health Research at the School of Public Health. In addition to a program of both empirical and theoretical research on ethical issues in health research, particularly in developing countries, the Program offers fellowships for scholars in developing countries and sponsors an intensive each year for an international clientele. Versions of the course have been taught in ten developing countries.

Prof. Wikler currently is co-director of a collaborative project with the PRC Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization to join Chinese colleagues, including former Program fellows, in an effort to enhance the China’s capacity for ethical review of health research. A frequent lecturer on ethics and health in the PRC and Hong Kong, Prof. Wikler holds honorary appointments at two Beijing research institutions.

Professor Wikler’s published work addresses many issues in bioethics, including issues in reproduction, transplantation, and end-of-life decision-making in addition to population and international health.. His book series, Studies in Philosophy and Health Policy, was published by Cambridge University Press, as was From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice, co-authored by Prof. Wikler and three other philosophers.

While at the World Health Organization, he instituted an international collaboration among philosophers and economists on ethical, methodological, and philosophical issues raised by WHO’s work in measurement of the global burden of disease and in developing methods for improving health resource allocation.

He is a core faculty member in the new Harvard Program in Ethics and Health and participates in faculty research and curriculum development groups on such issues as disparities in health status and the impact of corruption and fraud on public health. Professor Wikler also serves on the faculty of the Harvard Ph.D. Program in Health Policy and as a faculty associate in Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics.

Program on Ethical Issues in International Health Research – Located at the Harvard School of Public Health, the Program links Harvard scholars with colleagues throughout the world who share an interest in resolving ethical dilemmas arising in health research through empirical and theoretical investigation, education, and training.

Harvard Program in Ethics and Health – The university-wide Harvard Program in Ethics and Health focuses on critical ethical issues in population and global health.

Harvard University Ph.D. Program in Health Policy – The University-wide Ph.D. Program in Health Policy offers an ethics track.

Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University – now in its 20th year, the Center for Ethics offers fellowships and hosts symposia on ethical issues in many fields.