Addressing emerging ethical issues and building a culture of responsible science.


Cutting edge research can raise particularly challenging ethical, legal, and social questions, even in the minds of the scientists making new discoveries. The Morgridge Institute for Research recognized early in its development that ready access to bioethics counsel could have an enormous impact on how biomedical research proceeds, how research is perceived by local and national policy makers, and whether the research ultimately results in social benefit. The Morgridge Institute Bioethics Program provides an integrated, on-site resource for researchers to help them explore emerging ethical issues related to their work.

The Bioethics Program aims to:

  • Provide a resource for scientists at Morgridge, WID, and across UW–Madison to help them address ethical issues;
  • Conduct groundbreaking bioethics research, and provide bioethics expertise for large, interdisciplinary projects and research centers at Morgridge, WID, and UW–Madison;
  • Promote a cross-campus interdisciplinary research community;
  • Promote a culture of responsible science at Morgridge, WID, and UW–Madison;
  • Engage the public, policy makers, educators, students and journalists in understanding the real-world implications of the research conducted at Morgridge and the UW campus.

Pilar Ossorio, Professor of Law and Bioethics at UW–Madison, is the inaugural Bioethics Scholar-in-Residence and Bioethics Program lead. The Program draws from the abundant resources available at UW–Madison, including faculty with strengths in philosophy and bioethics, science governance, law, social studies of science, science communication, and business ethics. The Program collaborates with interested faculty and students from numerous departments and programs.

Researchers may contact the Bioethics Program at any time to discuss ethical issues or schedule a time to meet. To request a consultation, please contact Pilar Ossorio (608-316-4650 or

Pilar Ossorio