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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)

Reflexivity in Bioethical Research

Sessions 1 & 2

Session 3

Joint Presentation and Panel Discussion

Resource Persons

  • Dr. Michael Dunn, Associate Professor, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford
  • Dr. Jonathan Ives, Reader in Empirical Bioethics, Centre for Ethics in Medicine, University of Bristol


Dr. Supriya Subramani, Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine, University of Zurich

Faculty Advisor:

Dr. Roberto Andorno, Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine, University of Zurich


Have you wondered, as a researcher, how your values and ethical positions influence your research in bioethics? How do you navigate the conflicting values of yours’ and research participants? Reflexivity is a concept and practice widely recognized in doing qualitative research. It is a project of examining how researchers’ ideas and intersubjective elements impact and transform research. Being self-reflective of epistemological and methodological positions while doing your research plays a significant role and influence on your research. It can be observed as introspection, intersubjective reflection or part of mutual collaboration. For some scholars reflexivity is considered as a methodological tool. For others, it is part of the research process and research ethics. Recently, reflexivity has been gaining significance within the field of bioethics research. In this workshop, we aim to introduce the concept of reflexivity, its significance, and challenges in bioethics research. The overall goal of the workshop is to share, analyse and reflect on positionality, ethical, methodological, theoretical and epistemological concerns while employing reflexivity in research.


To introduce the concept of reflexivity in bioethics research

Target Audience

All those with an interest in conducting a qualitative inquiry in health research and bioethics, including masters students, doctoral students, and early career researchers.


  • Learn the concept of reflexivity in the context of qualitative research, empirical ethics and bioethics
  • Identify the significance and challenges of using reflexivity in bioethics



Session 1: Oct 30th 2020
Time: 14:00-15:00 (CET)    

Introduction to Qualitative Inquiry: Paradigms and Practice    

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2018). The Sage handbook of qualitative research. Sage. Chapter 1 (Introduction: The discipline and practice of qualitative research).     

Lecture and interactive session
15:00-15:15 Q & A

Concept of Reflexivity in Qualitative research

Berger, R. (2015) Now I see it, now I don't: Researcher's position and reflexivity in qualitative research. Qualitative Research 15(2): 219-234.

Lecture and interactive session

Relevance of Reflexivity in Empirical Ethics Research

Subramani, S. (2019). Practising reflexivity: Ethics, methodology and theory construction. Methodological Innovations. Link

Lecture and interactive session
Session 2: Nov 11th 2020
Time: 14:00-14:10 (CET) Introduction  

A Call For Reflexivity in Bioethics 
By: Michael Dunn and Jonathan Ives

Introduce the need for reflexivity in Bioethics
Discuss the significance of reflexivity  and its implications

Lecture/Joint Presentation
14:40-14:55 Q & A
Session 3: Nov 11th 2020
Time: 14:55-16:30 (CET)

Role of reflexivity in moral epistemological debates in Bioethics

Panel discussants (along with Dunn and Ives): Kristina Maria Würth (University of Basel); Sebastian Wäscher (IBME, UZH); Jana Sedlakova (IBME) and Daniel Drewniak (IBME)    

Ives, J. and Dunn, M. (2010) Who's Arguing? A Call For Reflexivity in Bioethics. Bioethics, 24: 256-265. Link
Dunn, M., & Ives, J. (2009). Methodology, epistemology, and empirical bioethics research: a constructive/ist commentary. The American Journal of Bioethics, 9(6-7), 93-95. Link

Panel Discussion and Q & A

Moderator: Supriya Sub

16:30-17:00 Discussion