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Baroness Onora O'Neill

Ethics; Political Philosophy; Kant
Professor Emeritus, University of Cambridge; past President of the British Academy
Onora O'Neill combines writing on political philosophy and ethics with a range of public activities. She comes from Northern Ireland and has worked mainly in Britain and the US. She was Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge from 1992-2006 and Hon Professor of Philosophy in the University of Cambridge. She was President of the British Academy from 2005-9, chaired the Nuffield Foundation from 1998-2010, and has been a crossbench member of the House of Lords since 2000 (Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve). She chaired the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission from 2012-16, and is currently on the boards of the Medical Research Council and the Banking Standards Review. She lectures and writes on justice and ethics, and in particular on the work of Immanuel Kant. Recent publications also address questions about accountability and trust, justice and borders, the future of universities, the quality of legislation and the ethics of communication.
British Academy appointments
  • President, 2005 - 2009
  • Member of Council, 1997 - 1999
Past appointments
  • Assistant, then Associate Professor, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, 1970 - 1977
  • Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader then Professor, University of Essex, 1977 - 1992
  • Principal, Newnham College University of Cambridge, 1992 - 2006
  • Honorary Professor of Ethics and Political Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge, 2003 -
Principal publications
  • Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics 2002
  • A Question of Trust 2002
  • Faces of Hunger 1986
  • Acting on Principle 2013 2nd edition
  • Rethinking Informed Consent in Bioethics 2007
  • Constructing Authorities: Reason Politics and Interpretation in the Work of Immanuel Kant 2016
  • Justice Across Boundaries: Whose Obligations? 2016
  • Constructions of Reason: Explorations of Kant's practical philosophy 1989
  • Towards justice and virtue 1996
  • Bounds of justice 2000

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