Centre for Applied Eithics
Welcome to Stellenbosch University


​​​​​Permanent Lecturers​​:​

Prof. Anton van Niekerk

Head of the Unit

Anton van Niekerk (MA, BTh, DPhil, Lic in Theology) is distinguished professor of Philosophy and director of the Centre for Applied Ethics at Stellenbosch University. He specializes in the fields of Bioethics, Philosophy of Religion and Philosophy of the Human Sciences. He is the course director of the postgraduate programs in applied ethics that are offered by the depart​ment and Centre for Applied Ethics. He is the author, co-author and editor of 18 books and 145  peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He also written 32 book reviews and 150 popular articles. He is rated  by the National Research Foundation of  South Africa as a researcher with considerable international recognition (B2), and has served as convenor for the panel of experts involved in rating researchers in philosophy and political science. He has been appointed by the Minister of Health as a member of the National Health Research Ethics Council (NHREC), the highest policy making body for research ethics in the country. In 1980, Van Niekerk was awarded the Chancellor's Medal of Stellenbosch University for the best final year student on campus, having attained all his degrees cum laude. In 1995, he was awarded the Stals Prize for Philosophy by the SA Academy for Science and Arts. He is a founding director and chairperson of the Board of the Ethics Institute of South Africa (EthicsSA). He has been a member of the Ethics Committee of the Medical Research Council (2003-2013) and, from 2007 to 2012, a director of the International Association of Bioethics (IAB). He is a former President of the Philosophical Society of Southern Africa, a former editor of the South African Journal of Philosophy and a former member of the council of Stellenbosch University. He has delivered 67 papers at international conferences and has supervised 72 completed masters and 22 completed doctoral dissertations. In 2014, he was one of only 20 professors that Stellenbosch University promoted to the rank of distinguished professor.

Professor Van Niekerk's full profile and publication list can be viewed by clicking on the following link: Profile

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_van_Niekerk

Office 666

+(0)21 808 2418


Dr. Susan Hall


Dr Susan Hall joined the department as a temporary lecturer in 2013, and was appointed permanently in 2015.  She received a scholarship from the Graduate School of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University for fulltime doctoral study in 2010, and completed her dissertation, "Harm and Enhancement: Philosophical and Ethical Perspectives", under the supervision of Professor Anton van Niekerk in December 2012.  Her research interests include Bioethics and Environmental Ethics, and she is currently working on the ethics of biotechnological human enhancement.​

Dr. Hall's full profile and publication list can be viewed by clicking on the following link: Profile

Guest Lecturers:

​Dr. Lyn Horn

Extraordinary Senior Lecturer

Dr Lyn Horn is a medical practitioner and bio-ethicist (PhD) with a particular interest in research ethics, public health ethics and the philosophy of social justice. In addition to her role in the department, she is the Research Integrity Officer at Stellenbosch University, based in the Division for Research Development as well as a research ethics consultant at the Desmond Tutu TB Centre, Paediatric Department, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. She is also a past member of the National Health Research Ethics Council (NHREC), and served one three year term. Currently she chairs the Humanities REC (IRB) at SU and is a faculty member of SARETI (Southern African Research Ethics Training Initiative), an NIH-Fogarty funded programme. She also serves as a bio-ethicist on an international DMSB and is the African bio-ethicist on the PopART HPTN071 study.


Horn, L. 2013. Promoting responsible research conduct in a developing world academic context. South African Journal of Bioethics and Law, 6(1): 21-24. DOI:10.7196/sajbl.256

Horn, L. 2013. Powers and Faden's Theory of Social Justice Applied to the Problem of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome in South Africa. Public Health Ethics, 6(1): 3-10.  DOI:10.1093/phe/pht004

Kruger, M. & Ndebele, P. & Horn, L. (Eds.). 2014. Research Ethics in Africa: a resource for ethics committees. Stellenbosch: Sun Press.  https://africansunmedia.snapplify.com (open access)

Chapters in the above book:

Horn, L. & Mwaluko, G. Public Health Research (including community cluster randomised trials)

Che Chi, P., Horn, L. & Kruger M. Risk-benefit assessment

Horn, L. & Zimba, M. Clinical trials

Horn, L., Sleem, H. & Ndebele, P. Research Vulnerability

Horn, L. & Mwaluko, G. Public Health Research (including community cluster randomised trials)​

Prof. Keymanthri Moodley

Guest Professor

Keymanthri Moodley is a Professor in the Department of Medicine and Director of the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University. She was rated by the National Research Foundation (NRF) as an established researcher in 2013 and has numerous national and international publications and conference presentations. She has worked as principal investigator on clinical trials since 1999, and served on the University Research Ethics Committee. She has provided Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training at the faculty for the past 12 years. In 2011 she re-established the Clinical Ethics Committee at Tygerberg Hospital. In 2010 she was appointed to the National Health Research Ethics Council (NHREC) and the Board of the Medical Research Council (MRC) by the Ministry of Health. Internationally, Keymanthri has served on the SAGE working group researching Immunisation during Humanitarian Crises for the World Health Organization (WHO). At the invitation of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) she has served on the HIV Preventive Research Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) and on the NIH African DSMB.  Since 2011, she has co-hosted an NIH Fogarty program to develop capacity in Health Research Ethics in Africa in collaboration with the Bioethics Centre, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, USA. The program has graduated 30 postgraduate scholars from Africa over the past 3 years. In 2013 she was awarded a second NIH grant to examine the ethical and social issues associated with HIV Cure research. Keymanthri was recently appointed to the International AIDS Society (IAS) HIV Cure International Scientific Working Group and the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts Working Group on Ebola Vaccines and Vaccinations by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The Centre was recently designated as a Collaborating Centre in Bioethics by the World Health Organisation, one of seven in the world and the first on the African continent.

Selected Publications

Moodley K, Hardie K, Selgelid MJ, Waldman RJ, Strebel P, Rees H, Durrheim D. 2013. Ethical considerations for vaccination programs in acute humanitarian emergencies. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 91:290-297.

Rowe K, Moodley K. 2013. Patients as consumers of healthcare. BMC Medical Ethics, 14:15

Williams JR, Sprumont D, Hirtle M, Adebamowo C, Braunschweiger P, Bull S, Burri C, Czarkowski M,Te Fan C, Franck C, Gefenas E, Geissbuhler A, Klingmann I,Kouyaté B, Kraehenbhul J, Kruger M, Moodley K, Ntoumi F, Nyirenda T, Pym A, Silverman H, Tenorio S. 2013. Consensus standards for introductory e-learning courses in human participant research ethics. Journal of Medical Ethics, 0:1-3.doi:10.1136/medethics -2013-101572.

Staunton C, Moodley K. 2013. Challenges in Biobank Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa. BMC Medical Ethics, 14(1).

Moodley K. 2013. Generalism in healthcare: Ethical challenges in the 21st century. South African Family Practice Journal, 55(5):410-411.

Silverman H, Sleem H, Moodley K, Kumar N, Naidoo S, Jaafar R, Moni M. 2013. Results of a Self-Assessment Tool to Assess Operational Characteristics of Research Ethics Committees in Developing Countries. Journal of Medical Ethics.

Moodley K, Sibanda NB, February K, Rossouw T.  2014. "It's my blood": ethical  complexities in the use, storage and export of biological samples: perspectives from  South African research participants. BMC Medical Ethics, 15:4.

Juergens C, de Villiers PJT, Moodley K, Jayawardene D, Jansen KU, Scott DA, Emini EA, Gruber WC, Schmoele-Thoma B. 2014. Safety and immunogenicity of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine formulations with and without aluminium phosphate and comparison of the formulation of choice with 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine in elderly adults: a randomized open-label trial. Human Vaccine and Immunotherapeutics, 10(5).

Tucker JD, Rennie S, and Moodley K. the Social and Ethical Working Group on HIV Cure. 2014. Social and ethical implications of HIV cure research. AIDS. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000000210

Beyer C, Staunton CS, Moodley K. 2014. The implications of methylphenidate use in healthy medical students and doctors in South Africa. BMC Medical Ethics, 15:20.

Rennie S, Siedner M, Tucker JD, Moodley K. 2015. The ethics of talking about 'HIV cure' BMC Medical Ethics, 16:18

Chapters in books:

Moodley K, Kling S, Roussouw T. 2012. Ethics in Handbook of Internal Medicine – Editor Prof R.M. Moosa – (submitted for editing)

Moodley K. 2013. Disaster Research Ethics: a South African Perspective – in Disaster Research. Springer

Prof. Willem Landman

Extraordinary Professor

Prof Willem A. Landman was founding CEO of EthicsSA (2000-2010). He holds degrees from the Universities of Stellenbosch, Oxford (Rhodes Scholar) and South Africa in philosophy, political philosophy, theology and law. He was professor at the Universities of the Western Cape (1986-1994) and North Carolina, USA (1994-2000), and has been professor extraordinaire at the University of Stellenbosch since 2000. He co-edited the highly successful book The bioethics reader: Editors' choice, Blackwell, Oxford (2007) as well as the international journal Developing World Bioethics, Blackwell, Oxford, UK (2000-08). He served on several editorial boards as well as company ethics boards (Discovery Health, Momentum Life, Primecure), chairs the Ethics Board of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Southern Africa, and chaired the ethics subcommittee of the King Committee on Corporate Governance (2007-09). Willem was also a council member of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoD), as well as Ethics Advisor for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Geneva, Switzerland (2005-2010). He has served on the Executive Committee of Dignity SA since its inception in 2010.​​

​​​​Andrea Palk


Andrea Palk obtained distinctions for all three degrees completed at Stellenbosch University thus far. She has been awarded multiple bursaries and prizes, some of which include SU merit bursaries, the Harry Crossley Prize for her MA studies and the Dean's medal for the top Masters student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in 2013. She was recently awarded a three year NRF Innovation bursary for her PhD studies which she embarked upon this year. Within bioethics, Andrea's research area is the human enhancement problematic. Her MA thesis: The morality of Transhumanism: Assessing Human Dignity arguments was published as an article this year in the South African Journal of Philosophy. Her PhD dissertation entitled Moral Bioenhancement: An ethical and philosophical investigation is a continuation of this research interest. Andrea has worked as the research assistant to Prof Anton van Niekerk since 2011 and runs the secretariat of the bioethics discussion group as well as the general departmental seminars. She has also taught several modules within the department including a newly designed Ethics of Biotechnology course for the Extended Degree Programme in the Humanities this year.


Van Niekerk, A.A. & Palk, A.C. 2014. Co-authors of ethics components (ch 1 and parts of ch 4) of Consensus Report on the State of biosafety and biosecurity in South Africa. Pretoria: Academy of Sciences of South Africa (ASSAf)


Palk, A.C. 2015. The implausibility of appeals to human dignity: An investigation into the efficacy of notions of human dignity in the transhumanism debate. South African Journal of Philosophy: 34(1): 39-54.