Coronavirus (COVID-19) notice

In accordance with the Quebec government directive, McGill University will remain closed until further notice. As a result, kindly note that the McGill Biomedical Ethics Unit team is working remotely.

The best way to reach us is via ssom [at] (email )

Nicholas King

Nicholas King

nicholas.king [at]

Tel.: (514) 398-7406
Fax: (514) 398-8349

Academic background

Nicholas King is an Associate Professor in the Department of the Social Studies of Medicine, and at McGill University, and an Associate Member in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McGill University; and an Professor in the Department of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University. He holds a Ph.D. in the history of science and a Masters degree in medical anthropology from Harvard University.

For more information visit Dr. King's website here



Dr. King conducts research in two areas:

Public health ethics and policy. Previous and current research includes work on the ethics of biosecurity, disaster response, and public health preparedness; ethical issues in responses to emerging diseases and the development of antimicrobial resistant pathogens; and health inequalities.
Health information, inequalities, and measurement. One project with colleagues in the Department of Epidemiology, this new work investigates the role of ethical judgments in the statistical measurement and assessment of causality in research on health inequalities. Another project with colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health investigates the role of mathematical modeling and information aggregation in the development of infectious disease policies.


Dr. King teaches a graduate course, "Public Health Ethics and Policy," open to graduate students in all disciplines.

Dr. King also directs the ethics curriculum for McGill's undergraduate medical education; teaches a fourth-year elective on health inequalities; and directs a course on comparative health care in Costa Rica through Case Western Reserve University.

Publications (selected):

Health Information, Inequalities and Measurement

• Harper, Sam, Nicholas B. King, et al. (2010) "Implicit Value Judgments in the Measurement of Health Inequalities" Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly 88(1).

• King, Nicholas B. (2009) "Equality and Inequality in American Health Care" in Eileen E. Morrison, Ed., Health Care Ethics: Critical Issues for the 21st Century (Sudbury, MA.: Jones & Bartlett): 339-354.

• King, Nicholas B. and Sam Harper. (2009) "Scan Of Scenario Building in Population Health With a Focus on Social Determinants Of Health." Report prepared for the Public Health Agency of Canada.

• Ornt , Daniel B., David C. Aron, Nicholas B. King, Laura M. Clemens, Douglas Einstadter, Scott Frank, Terry Wolpaw, Amy Wilson-Delfosse, Daniel Wolpaw, Karen 2008). "Population Medicine in a Curricular Revision at Case Western Reserve." Academic Medicine 83(4): 327-331.

Public Health Ethics and Biosecurity

• King, Nicholas B. (2008) "Networks, Disease, and the Utopian Impulse." In S. Harris Ali & Roger Keil, Ed., Networked Disease: Emerging Infections in the Global City (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell): 201-213.

• King, Nicholas B. (2009) "Book Review – Searching Eyes: Privacy, the State, and Disease Surveillance in America." Isis 100: 417-419.

• King, Nicholas B. (2008) "Review – Bioviolence: Preventing Biological Terror and Crime." American Journal of Bioethics 8(2):53. Review of Kellman`s Preventing Biological Terror and [.pdf]

• Aiello, Allison, Nicholas B. King, and Betsy Foxman (2006) "Antimicrobials and the Ethics of Drug Development." American Journal of Public Health Vol. 96, No. 11: 1910-1914.

• Berg, Jessica W., Nicholas B. King. (2006). "Strange Bedfellows? Reflections on Bioethics' Role in Disaster Response Planning." American Journal of Bioethics 6: 3-5.

• King, Nicholas B. (2006) "The Ethics of Biodefense" In Michael J. Selgelid, et al., eds. Ethics and Infectious Disease (Malden, MA: Blackwell).

• King, Nicholas B. (2005) "The Ethics of Biodefense" Bioethics 19(4): 432-446.

• King, Nicholas B. "Emerging Diseases" and "Biological Terrorism" in Sal Restivo, Ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).

• King, Nicholas B. (2004) "The Scale Politics of Emerging Diseases." Osiris 19: 62-76. The Scale Politics of Emerging Diseases [.pdf]

• King, Nicholas B. (2003) "Immigration, Race, and Geographies of Difference in the Tuberculosis Pandemic," in Matthew Gandy & Alimuddin Zumla, Eds, Return of the White Plague: Global Poverty and the New Tuberculosis (London: Verso Press). Immigration, Race, and Geographies of Difference Immigration, Race, and Geographies of Difference [.pdf]

• King, Nicholas B. (2003) "The Influence of Anxiety: September 11th, Bioterrorism, and American Public Health." Journal of the History of Medicine and the Allied Sciences 58(4): 433-441. Influence of Anxiety [.pdf]

• King, Nicholas B. (2002) "Security, Disease, Commerce: Ideologies of Post-Colonial Global Health." Social Studies of Science 32(5/6): 763-789. Security, Disease, Commerce [.pdf]

• King, Nicholas B. (2002) "Dangerous Fragments." Grey Room 7 (Spring): 72-81. Dangerous Fragments [.pdf]

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