Angus Dawson qualified with a BA (Hons) in Philosophy from the University of Sussex in 1989. He went on to study for a MSc in Health Care Ethics at Liverpool University, before completing a PhD in Philosophy at Manchester University in 2000.
After teaching a wide range of topics in ethics and philosophy at a number of different universities, he was appointed as Lecturer (1998), and then Senior Lecturer in Ethics & Philosophy (2004), at Keele University. At Keele he set up and was the founding Director of the Centre for Professional Ethics, where he specialised in teaching ethics to mid-career health care professionals. Angus spent two years at the University of Toronto on consecutive research fellowships. In 2007-8 he was based at the Centre for Ethics and then in 2008-9 he was at the Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB). He continues to be an Honorary Research Fellow at the JCB. He was appointed as Professor of Public Health Ethics at the University of Birmingham in August 2011.
Angus has a broad range of research interests in bioethics. His main focus in recent years has been on establishing and developing the field of public health ethics. Much of his early work in this area explored ethical arguments about vaccinations. More recently he has begun work on ethical issues related to chronic disease (particularly those said to be the result of ‘lifestyle choices’ e.g. obesity, smoking, drinking etc). In addition, he is interested in expanding the boundaries of what we count as legitimate topics for public health ethics, for example into areas of mental health (e.g. suicide). He also has a growing interest in how methodological issues intertwine with ethical issues, and has recently worked on papers about the ethics of cluster randomised trials, surveillance and natural experiments.
Angus has been involved in many interdisciplinary research projects, international collaborations, and policy work at national and international levels. He has worked on projects for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, the World Health Organisation, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the UK’s Health Protection Agency.