Françoise Baylis

is Distinguished Research Professor Emerita, Dalhousie University. She is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia, as well as an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the International Science Council. In 2022, she was awarded the Killam Prize for the Humanities, and in 2023, she received the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize in Humanities — Canada’s most distinguished awards for humanities scholars. As well, in 2023 she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal.


Baylis is a philosopher whose innovative work in bioethics, at the intersection of policy and practice, has stretched the boundaries of the field. Her work challenges us 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.

A public intellectual for the modern age, Baylis brings her ethical sensibility, theory and common sense, to a wide range of public issues. Her current research focuses on human genome modification, assisted human reproduction, research involving women and the responsible stewardship of science. 

Baylis is the author of Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing. She is a member of the Governing Board of the International Science Council (2021-2024) and Vice-Chair of its Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in Science. She was a member of the WHO Working Group on Principles of the Global Guidance Framework for the Responsible Use of the Life Sciences. She is a member of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Working Group on Creating the Framework for Tomorrow’s Pathogen Research.