Impact Ethics

Françoise Baylis

University Research Professor

Photo courtesy of Graham Kennedy


Additional information:
Curriculum Vitae
Google Scholar
Read Françoise Baylis on ImpactEthics 
Listen to "Bioethicist warns against using gene-editing technology to solve social problems", CBC 
• Listen to "What is CRISPR," Empowered Health
• Watch "Is Human Germline Editing Ethical?"
• Watch "Ethics of Bio-Data & Genetic Genealogy", Genealogy & Genetics workshop
• Watch "Conversations with My Mother", The Walrus Talks
• Watch "Breaking the Wall Between Gene Science & Ethics", Falling Walls
• Watch "Synthetic Biology: Blurring Boundaries to Create New Realities", me Convention

Select Publications

Baylis, F., Cattapan, A., & Snow, D. (2017). Editorial misconduct. Public Affairs Quarterly, 31(2), 143-155.

Baylis, F. (2017). Human nuclear genome transfer (so-called Mitochondrial replacement): clearing the underbrush. Bioethics, 31(1), 7-19.

Baylis, F. (2017). Still Gloria: personal identity and dementia. International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, 10(1), 210-224.

Baylis, F. (2017). Human germline genome editing and broad societal consensus. Nature Human Behaviour, 1, 0103.

Baylis, F. (2017). The regulation of assisted human reproductive technologies and related research: a public health, safety and morality argument. In T.Lemmens, A. F. Martin, C. Milne, & I. B. Lee (Eds.), Regulating Creation: The Law, Ethics and Policy of Assisted Human Reproduction (pp. 490-528). Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.

Vasiliou, S. K., Diamandis, E. P., Church, G. M., Greely, H. T., Baylis, F., Thompson, C. et al. (2016). CRISPR-Cas9 system: opportunities and concerns. Clinical Chemistry, 62(10), 1304.

Cattapan, A. & Baylis, F. (2015). Frozen in perpetuity: 'abandoned embryos' in Canada. Reproductive Biomedicine & Society Online, 1(2), 104-112.

Krahn, T. M. & Baylis, F. (2016). A review of consent documents from Canadian IVF clinics, 1991 to 2014. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, 38(5), 470-482.

Baylis, F. (2017). 'Broad societal consensu' on human germline editing. Harvard Health Policy Review, 15(2), 19-23.

Baylis, F. (2016). Mitochondrial replacement techniques: ethical, social and policy considerations. Royal Society of Canada Reports from Abroad [On-line].

Baylis, F. & Rossant, J. (2016). This CRISPR moment: editing human DNA the way we edit test – are we ready? The Walrus Magazine, April, 15-17.

Baylis, F. (2016). Ethical commentary - abortion and physician conscientious action. In S.W.Smith, J. Coggon, C. Hobson, R. Huxtable, S. McGuinness, J. Miola, & M. Neals (Eds.), Ethical judgments: re-writing medical law (pp. 164-171). Oxford: Hart Publishing.

Baylis, F. & Ballantyne, A. (2016). Missed trials, future oppotunities. In F.Baylis & A. Ballantyne (Eds.), Clinical Research Involving Pregnant Women (pp. 1-12). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Baylis, F. & MacQuarrie, R. (2016). Why physicians and women should want pregnant women included in clinical trials. In F.Baylis & A. Ballantyne (Eds.), Clinical Research Involving Pregnant Women (pp. 14-29). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Baylis, F. & Herder, M. (2016). Policy design for human embryo research in Canada: 1989-2015. In S.Dodds & R. Ankeny (Eds.), Big Picture Bioethics: Developing Democratic Policy in Contested Domains (pp. 73-105).

Videos, Interviews & Podcasts

Bioethicist warns against using gene-editing technology to solve social problems. Françoise Baylis interviewed by CBC The Current with Laura Lynch, 24 Oct 2019.

Is Human Genome Editing Ethical? Plenary Lecture by Françoise Baylis. American Society for Reproductive Medicine Annual Scientific Congress & Expo, 2019. Philadelphia PA, 15 Oct 2-10.

Genealogy & Genetics workshop, part 7 of 8: Ethics of bio-data & genetic genealogy - a presentation by Françoise Baylis. Organized by Julia Creet,  Archives of Ontario, 134 Ian MacDonald Blvd, North York, York University Keele Campus, Toronto ON, 21 Sept 2018.

Editing the human genome: the ethics of moulding our future - a panel discussion featuring Françoise Baylis, Julian Savalescu and David Edgell as moderated by Anthony Skelton. (14 Mar 2018). Wolf Performance Hall – Central Library, London ON.

Synthetic biology: blurring boundaries to create new realities. (16 Sept 2017). me Convention talks. Frankfurt Festhalle, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Social & ethical aspects of genome engineering. (25 May 2017). Session 3, Part I & Part II. 15th Annual Genomics Forum: The Genome Engineering Revolution: CRISPR & SYNBIO. Vancouver, BC.

Breaking the wall between gene science and ethics: How philosophy can provide frameworks for a global biotech revolution. (9 Nov 2016). Falling Walls Conference. Berlin, Germany.

Conversations with my mother. (20 Oct 2016). The Walrus Talks The Art of Conversation. Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, Rozsa Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.

Identity. Relationships. Belonging. Persons with Dementia. Dialogue on Aging: Geriatric Services Conference. Tapestry Foundation for Aging. Vancouver, BC. 29 Apr 2016.

I'm Still a Person (Part 1 of 2).
I'm Still a Person (Part 2 of 2).
Keynote presentation to Tapestry Foundation for Health Care's Geriatric Services Conference. Vancouver, BC. 29 Apr 2016.

Pay-for-Plasma Panel Discussion. Nova Scotia Health Coalition. 25 Apr 2016.

Françoise Baylis: bioéthicienne. Carte de Visite, Télévision française de l'Ontario (TFO). Dans son bureau de l'Université Dalhousie à Halifax, la bioéthicienne Françoise Baylis doit soupeser le pour et le contre des soi-disant progrès médicaux, pour déterminer si les bénéfices pour la santé d'une personne peuvent nuire aux droits d'une autre... Ces questions, Françoise Baylis se les pose tous les jours. On vit plus vieux. On vit en meilleure santé. Les progrès de la science sont partout. Des avancées technologiques viennent en aide aux couples qui ont du mal à concevoir un bébé. Mais ces progrès sont-ils réellement positifs pour la société? 12 Feb 2016.

Baby-making: The harms of commercial contract pregnancy.Mason Institute. 12 Mar 2015.

Science in the city: Research ethics: The obligations to include pregnant women in research. McMaster TV. 14 Feb 2012.

Just in time: Health research and the pharmaceutical industry. Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs (CCEPA). 15 Feb 2010.

Whose business is it anyway? Science and the corporate world. (Trust in Science Part 4). Situating Science│Atlantic Node. Mar 2007.

Honouring excellenceDr. Françoise Baylis shares her thoughts on being featured in the Official Black History Month Poster. Dal News. 17 Feb 2006.


Françoise Baylis is a philosopher whose innovative work in bioethics, at the intersection of policy and practice, has stretched the very boundaries of the field.  Her work challenges readers to think broadly and deeply about the direction of health, science and biotechnology. It aims to move the limits of mainstream bioethics and develop more effective ways to understand and tackle public policy challenges in Canada and abroad.

A public intellectual for the modern age, Baylis brings her ethical sensibilities, informed by best practices, theory and common sense, to a wide range of public issues. She is a frequent guest on CBC and Radio Canada and the author of many news stories with a “behind the scenes” look at ethical issues. Her current research focuses on heritable human genome modification, the body economy, assisted human reproduction, and research involving women. With a personal mantra to make the powerful care, Baylis contributes to national policy-making via government research contracts, membership on national committees and public education. This work – all of which is informed by a strong commitment to the common good – focuses largely on issues of social justice.

Françoise Baylis is University Research Professor, NTE Impact Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University. She is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In 2017 she was awarded the Canadian Bioethics Society Lifetime Achievement Award.