Nicholas B. King


nicholas.king [at] | 514-623-5464 

Prof. King holds a masters degree in medical anthropology and a PhD in the history of Science from Harvard University. He is an associate professor in the Biomedical Ethics Unit and the Social Studies of Medicine department. He also holds appointments in the Max Bell School of Public Policy; the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy; and the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health.

Research Interests:

Prof. King studies and teaches about public health policy, ethics, and epistemology. He is particularly concerned about 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 influence individual decisions, collective behaviors, and public policies. Current research projects include: using machine learning to study engagement between sponsors and authors of scientific research on a massive scale; examining the ethics of automated digital disease surveillance; and assessing the proper role of direct cash transfers in public health policies and interventions.  


Selected Publications:

Courses Given:

  • PPHS 624: Public Health Ethics and Policy
  • PPOL 606: Experts, Evidence, and Policy – or, How to be Skeptical Without Being Cyncial
  • INDS 406: Understanding the 'Crisis' in Health Research, and its Implications for Health Policy and Practice
  • Lectures in the undergraduate medical curriculum: Individual rights and collective responsibilities in public health; resource allocation and distributive justice; conflict of interest in health research and medical practice.

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