Nicholas King

Nicholas KingNicholas B. King is an associate professor in the Biomedical Ethics Unit and associate member in the Institute for Health and Social Policy, and the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health at McGill University. Dr. King's primary research areas are public health policy, ethics, and epistemology. Dr. King is particularly interested in the use of scientific evidence in public policy, and studies the ways that 'black boxes' of all sorts - from seemingly objective measures of health and health inequalities, to complex algorithms - are shaped by human interests and hidden value judgments, which in turn shape individual decisions, collective behaviors, and public policies. He has published in the Milbank Quarterly, Annals of Internal Medicine, BMJ, PLOS Medicine, the American Journal of Public Health, and the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.

Curriculum vitae

Course offered:

Core Policy Course: Experts, Science, and Evidence in Public Policy

Previously taught:

Complexity Seminar: Science in the Policy Process


Ph.D., Harvard University (History of Science)

MA, Harvard University (Medical Anthropology) 

BA, University of Pennsylvania (History)

Recent publications: 

  • (2022) Okhmatovskaia A, Buckeridge DL, Shen Y, Ganser I, King NB, Collier N, Meng Z. “A conceptual framework for representing events under public health surveillance.” Studies in Health Technology and Informatics 294.
  • (2022) Meng Z, Okhmatovskaia A, Polleri M, Powell G, Shen Y, Fu Z, Ganser I, King NB, Buckeridge D, Collier N. “BioCaster in 2021: Detecting Disease Outbreaks from Global News Media.” Bioinformatics 38(18).
  • (2021) Dimitris M, Gittings M, King NB. “How Global is Global Health Research? A Large-Scale Analysis of Trends in Authorship” BMJ Global Health 6(1).
  • (2021) Harper SB, Riddell C, King NB. “Declining Life Expectancy in the United States: Missing the Trees for the Forest.” Ann Rev Pub Hlth 42(1).
  • (2021) King NB. “Science and Public Policy in a Post-Pandemic World.” In Jean-Louis Denis, Catherine Régis & Daniel Weinstock, Pandemic Societies (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press).
  • (2020) King NB. “Harm Reduction: A Misnomer.” Health Care Analysis 28.
  • (2020) Cooper JE, Benmarhnia T, Koski A, King NB. “Cash transfer programs have differential effects on health: A review of the literature from low and middle-income countries.” Social Science & Medicine.
  • (2020) King NB, Koski A. “Defining global health as public health somewhere else.” BMJ Global Health.
  • (2020) King NB. “Technological Fixes and Antimicrobial Resistance.” In Zeb Jamrozik & Michael Selgelid, Ed. Ethics and Antimicrobial Resistance: Collective Responsibility for Global Public Health.


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