Discover our new research centres: Ethics and Agency


The Ethics and Agency Research Centre leads research in ethics, human agency and justice in the face of rapid social, technological, legal and environmental changes.

Centre expertise

Hosted by the Faculty of Arts, the Ethics and Agency Research Centre unites experts in philosophy and ethics with specialists in diverse disciplines including law, computing and healthcare.

Research themes

  • The philosophy and ethics of artificial intelligence
  • Human rights and free speech
  • Animal ethics
  • Environmental ethics
  • Rational agency and misinformation
  • Moral and legal responsibility

Centre leadership

Distinguished Professor Wendy Rogers, Department of Philosophy and School of Medicine

Professor Paul Formosa, Department of Philosophy

Professor Neil Levy, Department of Philosophy

Professor Wendy Lipworth, Department of Philosophy

Professor Sarah Sorial, Faculty of Arts and Law School

Associate Professor Mark Alfano, Department of Philosophy

Dr Katrina Hutchison, Department of Philosophy

Dr Jane Johnson, Department of Philosophy

Key partners

The Ethics and Agency Research Centre works in collaboration with a range of stakeholders, including the Human Rights Commission, the Australian Law Reform Commission, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, the Department of Defence, other government departments, consumer health organisations and various private sector organisations such as technology company Meta.

Current projects include

Technology and human agency: from dehumanisation to moral improvement.

This project will explore the ethical impacts of recent technological innovations on human agency by exploring how technology has the potential to be both dehumanising (for example, when we are subject to certain algorithmic or AI decisions) and morally improving (for example, serious video games for moral improvement, VR for promoting empathy, or using AI as a moral advisor or interlocuter).

This project will combine a focus on both agency and ethics, have practical implications for our use and understanding of new technologies, and bring together researchers with philosophical, legal, computing, business and cognitive science backgrounds.

Responsibility and integrity

The Centre is developing projects investigating various aspects of responsibility. One project explores the limits of medical responsibility – for example, what steps should practitioners take in trying to ensure that patients can access the drugs that they need? Another project will investigate responsibility and integrity in research and how developments such as Chat-GTP 4 threaten current models of research integrity.

How to engage with the Ethics and Agency Research Centre

Staff interested in contributing to the work of the Centre are encouraged to contact

The Centre regularly hosts events, workshops, seminars and public panels which everyone can attend, such as the recent public lecture on Emotion and the Law, held in the Supreme Court of NSW, and a panel discussion on issues surrounding the Voice Referendum 2023. Watch the event recording here.

Read recent Lighthouse stories from Ethics and Agency researchers:


How a sense of humour can be a moral virtue


Good vs evil: how the urge to win drives gaming decisions






Back to homepage


Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *

We encourage active and constructive debate through our comments section, but please remain respectful. Your first and last name will be published alongside your comment.

Comments will not be pre-moderated but any comments deemed to be offensive, obscene, intimidating, discriminatory or defamatory will be removed and further action may be taken where such conduct breaches University policy or standards. Please keep in mind that This Week is a public site and comments should not contain information that is confidential or commercial in confidence.

Got a story to share?

Visit our contribute page >>