Heather Widdows

Colleges, School and Institutes


Heather Widdows is a leading international researcher across applied ethics. In 2005 she was awarded a visiting fellowship at Harvard University, where she worked on issues of moral neo-colonialism. She has led a number of funded projects on issues of property in the body; reproductive rights; human tissue; war on terror and ownership and governance of the genome. Heather's current research explores the moral philosophy of beauty, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship (2014-2016) and an AHRC Network on 'The Changing Requirements of Beauty' (2015-2016). Her latest book, Perfect Me: Beauty as an Ethical Ideal, was published Princeton University Press in May 2018.

Currently Heather serves as a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and is also on the REF Philosophy Sub-Panel. Previously she was a member of UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council (2007 to 2013) and co-lead Saving Humans, one of the two inaugural themes of the University's Institute of Advanced Studies.


Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

Professor Widdows is particularly interested in the ethical issues which arise in the context of globalisation, including those of technological development, war and terrorism, poverty and development, as well as bioethical issues, particularly those of reproductive, research and genetic ethics. She is happy to supervise PhD students in any of her research areas.