A Conference of Applied Ethics and Critical Social Sciences

The Public Issues and Public Reason conference (PIPR) is a multidisciplinary conference at which graduate students from a variety of programs and disciplines will present papers analyzing current social and global challenges through the lenses of political theory, applied ethics, and critical social sciences.

The theme for this year’s conference is Security and Justice:  Lessons From a Global Pandemic

Location: Zoom videoconference, from Carleton University, Ottawa
Tuesday, October 20, and Wednesday, October 21

Keynote Speaker
Professor Françoise Baylis, Dalhousie University
Keynote Presentation on October 21st at 2:30 P.M.

The COVID-19 Pandemic: “We are not all in the same boat”

About the Speaker: Françoise Baylis is a philosopher whose innovative work in bioethics, at the intersection of policy and practice, has stretched the very boundaries of the field.  Her work challenges readers 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 in Canada and abroad.

A public intellectual for the modern age, Baylis brings her ethical sensibilities, informed by best practices, theory and common sense, to a wide range of public issues. She is a frequent guest on CBC and Radio Canada and the author of many news stories with a “behind the scenes” look at ethical issues. Her current research focuses on heritable human genome modification, the body economy, assisted human reproduction, and research involving women. With a personal mantra to make the powerful care, Baylis contributes to national policy-making via government research contracts, membership on national committees and public education. This work – all of which is informed by a strong commitment to the common good – focuses largely on issues of social justice.

These days, Baylis is thinking mostly about the current global health crisis. As she considers the ethics of physical distancing, clinical triage protocols and immunity passports, she keeps returning to the question at the heart of her new book Altered Inheritance: “What kind of world do we want to live in?”

Françoise Baylis is University Research Professor, NTE Impact Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University. She is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In 2017 she was awarded the Canadian Bioethics Society Lifetime Achievement Award.

Conference Presentations



Call for Abstracts: Application deadline September 15, 2020

Submissions are welcome from graduate students in philosophy, law, social sciences, public policy, political theory, economics, and health policy on any topic related to applied ethics, critical social sciences, and social/global challenges.

Instructions for applicants:

  • Extended Abstracts (with title) should be 700-1000 words
  • Full papers can be submitted if already prepared
  • Applicants should remove any identifying information on the abstract and include a separate document with their name, email, affiliation
  • Abstracts should be sent to
  • Full papers (no longer than 10,000 words) due October 15, 2020
  • Accepted presenters will be allocated a total of 45 minutes for presentation and discussion.
  • As this conference has significant workshopping elements, we suggest authors take only 5-10 minutes to explain the main elements of their paper before opening the session for discussion with other participants.
  • Presenters will be asked to read 3 papers prepared by other presenters and should come prepared to offer feedback and comments.
  • Notification of acceptance by September 25, 2020

For more information please email

PIPR Conference Registration

Registration for the PIPR Conference is now closed. If you would like to attend, please email the graduate administrator, to receive the Zoom meeting details.

The PIPR conference is sponsored by the Ethics and Public Affairs programs at Carleton University.