Our Story

In 2020-2021, the founding steering committee members of the Southeast Asia (SEA) Bioethics Network came together to successfully apply for the prestigious Wellcome Trust Research Development Award [grant no. 222870/Z/21/Z] to set up the network. The steering committee members, comprising scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds such as law, science, philosophy, and social science, have previously worked together on multiple projects, establishing a solid foundation of trust and mutual respect.

They share a collective goal: to advance an empirically-informed and practice-oriented normative approach to bioethics from a SEA perspective in collaboration with other stakeholders in the region. The network encourages approaches that take intellectual risks and explore innovative ways of addressing the ethical challenges and opportunities emerging in the region, aligning with international developments in the field.

As a starting point to build up the network’s research agenda and capabilities, the steering committee would be advancing research in two thematic areas: ethical issues relating to healthcare for and research with mobile and marginalised populations; and, emerging technologies such as genomic medicine and gene- and cell-based therapies, and health-related activities driven by big data and Artificial intelligence (AI). 

The steering committee is committed to supporting the aspirations and careers of bioethics scholars and researchers based in SEA or who have an interest in bioethical issues in the region.

The network’s commitment to equality and inclusion is unwavering. Recognising the rich cultural and religious diversity within SEA, they will prioritise respect and value for every person they engage with. They also aim to engage people from various backgrounds, including those not traditionally recognised as professional bioethicists, such as faith leaders and village heads. Our goal is to bring these unheard voices to the forefront to enrich the discourse of bioethics.

The steering committee members are acutely aware of the importance of participatory research methods when engaging with vulnerable populations such as refugees and low-wage migrant workers. They pledge to involve all stakeholders, and collaboratively analyse and reflect upon the generated information. This commitment aligns with the network’s vision to champion change and pursue research that leads to tangible actions and positive transformations in people's lives.

The SEA Bioethics Network's journey embodies the spirit of collaboration, risk-taking, and shared dedication to bioethics in the region. We hope others will join us on this journey to shape a vibrant and impactful bioethics landscape that addresses the unique challenges and opportunities of SEA.

Who We Are

A distinctive feature of SEA is its diversity of language, ethnicities, cultural and religious traditions, and political and economic development. However, Southeast Asian voices are underrepresented in contemporary bioethics discourses and in the development of bioethics guidance that have international relevance and impact.

An initiative of bioethics scholars and researchers based at the Faculty of Law, Universiti Malaya, the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, and the National University of Singapore, Centre for Biomedical Ethics, the Southeast Asia Bioethics Network seeks to widen and work with the bioethics community in the region and beyond to establish a research agenda that brings to the forefront voices that are not well captured in current bioethics discourses.

We are committed to building a vibrant, inclusive, and collaborative bioethics community in SEA. To this end, SEA Bioethics Network's vision and vision would be shaped by a Delphi Survey process and other forms of engagement with key stakeholders in the region.

Vision, Mission and Values


Our vision is to be the leading resource for bioethics in Southeast Asia, inspiring local, regional and global solutions.


  1. Promote respectful dialogue and diversity in support of inclusive, vibrant and sustainable bioethics communities in the region.
  2. Increase awareness, capacity and collaboration for impactful bioethics research, mentorship, education and practice.
  3. Raise Southeast Asian perspectives and provide a platform for unheard and underrepresented voices in bioethics.
  4. Understand regional bioethical issues and engage with relevant stakeholders and communities to co-produce meaningful research and context specific solutions.

  1. Sustainability: We are committed to building a vibrant and collaborative bioethics community in Southeast Asia which will empower the next generation of researchers to lead their communities in shaping impactful bioethical discourses from a Southeast Asia perspective.
  2. Inclusivity: We value diversity, welcome differences and actively promote an inclusive community that respects people from all walks of life.
  3. Integrity: We are committed to pursuing our research in an honest and ethical manner, always adhering to the highest standard of professional conduct.
  4. Courage: We are committed to taking intellectual risks and exploring innovative ways of addressing bioethical challenges emerging in Southeast Asia.
  5. Solidarity: We value our shared interests and beliefs and are committed to supporting each other to be the leading resource for bioethics in Southeast Asia.