Baroness Onora O'Neill FBA

Ethics; Political Philosophy; Kant.

Elected 1993

Onora O’Neill combines writing on political philosophy and ethics with a range of public activities. She comes from Northern Ireland and has worked mainly in Britain and the US. She was Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge from 1992-2006, President of the British Academy from 2005-9, chaired the Nuffield Foundation from 1998-2010, has been a crossbench member of the House of Lords since 2000 (Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve). She has chaired the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission from 2012-16 and served on of the Medical Research Council and the Banking Standards Board until 2018. In 2017, she was awarded the Holberg Prize and the Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture. She lectures and writes on justice and ethics, accountability and trust, justice and borders, as well as on the future of universities, the quality of legislation and the ethics of communication. 

Current post

University of Cambridge Professor Emeritus

2003 -

Past appointments

The British Academy President

2005 - 2009

University of Cambridge Honorary Professor of Ethics and Political Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy

2003 -

Newnham College University of Cambridge Principal

1992 - 2006

University of Essex Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader then Professor

1977 - 1992

Columbia University, New York Assistant, then Associate Professor, Barnard College

1970 - 1977


Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics

Published in 2002

A Question of Trust

Published in 2002

Faces of Hunger

Published in 1986

Acting on Principle

Published in 2013 2nd edition

Rethinking Informed Consent in Bioethics

Published in 2007

Constructing Authorities: Reason Politics and Interpretation in the Work of Immanuel Kant

Published in 2016

Justice Across Boundaries: Whose Obligations?

Published in 2016

Constructions of Reason: Explorations of Kant's practical philosophy

Published in 1989

Towards Justice and Virtue

Published in 1996

Bounds of Justice

Published in 2000

Nine Fellows of the British Academy respond to the COVID-19 pandemic

21 Apr 2020

Nine Fellows working across the humanities and social sciences consider the potential long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of their subject.

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