The UCD Centre for Ethics in Public Life (CEPL) brings the academy into the public sphere - thinking about, discussing, and teaching Ethics.

There are two strands: Research and CPD

Its aims:

   (i)   to support the development of research within UCD on theoretical and practical aspects of Ethics;

   (ii)  to open up two-way lines of communication with the wider community on matters of ethical concern.

      To this end:

  • we enable regular discussions across different disciplines in UCD on various aspects of Ethics;
  • we are developing major interdisciplinary research projects drawing in researchers from across UCD and outside;
  • we organize research workshops and conferences involving researchers and other stakeholders within and outside of UCD on specific questions with respect to Ethics – both practical and philosophical;
  • we aim to become a resource for communication on ethical issues between UCD academics and the wider community - the media, schools, regulation bodies, ombudsmen, ethics advisory committees, NGOs and government bodies;
  • we aim to take a central role in widening ethical thinking in business, medicine, law, biotechnology, IT, urban development, veterinary and food science and the financial sector.

We are proud to support the Ethics Initiative of President Michael Higgins.


The current priority of the Centre is to develop research projects in the following four areas:

  • Vulnerability
  • Trust
  • Empathy
  • Ethics of Emerging Technologies


This does not preclude developing research in any other areas associated with Ethics in Public Life, and the Centre welcomes suggestions and offers with respect to research projects and collaborations in any such areas.