Michael M. Burgess is Professor and Chair in Biomedical Ethics at the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics and the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia. He is also Principal (Elect) of the College for Interdisciplinary Studies, UBC, home to 28 interdisciplinary programs, centres and institutes covering areas such as environment and fisheries policy, environmental health, bioinformatics, spinal cord research, neuroscience, cell and developmental biology, genetics, applied ethics, European and Asian studies, global justice and governance.

Burgess’s research combines qualitative and public engagement methods and social scientific literature review with ethical analysis. With Peter Danielson he is PI of the Genome Canada/Genome BC-funded “Building a GE3LS Architecture” and is a collaborator on other genome science projects. He recently completed a deliberative engagement on biobanks in BC, and is collaborating on similar events at the Mayo Clinic and in Western Australia, and is working on a public and stakeholder deliberative engagement related to salmon genomics for the fall of 2008.

Burgess’ graduate supervision has been primarily in the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program (Vancouver), the graduate programs of the School of Population and Public Health, and most recently the Okanagan Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies program. His seminars typically include students with backgrounds in science, health care, health research, social science and humanities. His research has been funded by SSHRC, CIHR, Genome Canada and Genome BC, as well as NGOs and industry contracts. 

Most recently Burgess’ research has focused on science and technology policy and public engagement based on theories of deliberative democracy. In collaboration with Kieran O’Doherty, His research has focused on developing approaches to public deliberation, with over 25 events in Canada, Australia the US. The majority of these deliberations have been on biobanks, the use of data in health systems and research, and funding decisions in health care. Current research projects, listed below, are all collaborative, interdisciplinary projects combining empirical and theoretical components.

Research projects