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Queen’s attracts first Ontario Research Chair


Queen’s has appointed the first of eight new Ontario Research Chairs in Public Policy – part of a $25-million provincial government initiative to address key policy issues.

A world leader in the study of health care ethics related to policy, Dr. Udo Schuklenk will be the Ontario Research Chair in Bioethics. Dr. Schuklenk was successfully recruited from Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland, where he was professor and head of the Centre for Ethics in Public Policy and Corporate Governance.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome to Queen’s such a highly accomplished scholar with significant research experience,” says Principal Karen Hitchcock. “His outstanding publication record, international experience gained at universities in Australia, South Africa, Germany and Britain, and reputation for public service make Dr. Schuklenk an excellent choice for this new position. We look forward to his contributions to this important and highly complex area of public policy.”

“We are delighted to welcome a scholar of Dr. Schüklenk’s calibre and international reputation to Queen’s University,” said John Gerretsen, MPP Kingston and the Islands, on behalf of Chris Bentley, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. “Along with the remaining seven Ontario Research Chairs, we look forward to the benefits of an increased number of leading edge researchers at our universities who will help ensure that the next generation of graduate students is prepared to address issues and find novel solutions to problems of central relevance to all Ontarians.”

Co-editor-in-chief of Bioethics, the official journal of the International Association of Bioethics, Dr. Schuklenk’s publications in this area have been critically acclaimed. As Chair, he plans to examine the degree to which market forces should be allowed to dictate the direction of pharmaceutical research; how communities whose “local knowledge” is commercially exploited by pharmaceutical companies should be compensated; and how to define appropriate measures of infectious disease control in conditions of pandemic.

Dr. Schuklenk’s research has an international perspective that will coincide with work by a number of scholars in the Philosophy Department at Queen’s, says department head David Bakhurst. Researchers with other units at the university, including the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, Development Studies, the Faculty of Health Sciences, and the new Institute of Population and Public Health, will be potential collaborative partners as well, he notes.

“Our application for the Chair made the case that traditional bioethics has been too preoccupied with physician-patient issues in clinical contexts, and argued that we must examine moral issues at a more profoundly social level,” Dr. Bakhurst continues. “Prof. Schuklenk’s research is in harmony with this commitment. This is reflected in his past work, especially his writing on AIDS and accessibility to drugs, and in the research he proposes to conduct as Chair.”

In the 2005 Ontario budget, the provincial government committed $25 million to the Council of Ontario Universities to establish the Ontario Research Chairs in Public Policy, which will focus on leading-edge research in eight key areas of public policy including:

· environmental policy and renewable energy,
· educational achievement and at risk students,
· health policy and system design,
· urban policy – crime or transportation,
· economics and cross cultural studies,
· biomarkers in disease management,
· post-secondary education policy and measurement; and
· bioethics.

“Ontario’s universities are committed to playing a leadership role in attracting new scholars to the province and in enhancing our ability to address public policy issues of importance to the social and economic health of Ontario,” notes Dr. Ian Clark, president of the Council of Ontario Universities, which oversaw the arm’s length institutional competition for the chairs. “We believe that, through the creation of the Ontario Research Chairs in Public Policy, Ontario’s improved ability to attract international talent to our academic institutions will lead to important contributions for generations to come.”

Further information on the Ontario Research Chairs in Public Policy and the selection process can be found at

For more information on the research program at Queen’s, see:


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