2023 Elizabeth D. Rockwell Prize for Best Article on Ethics, Leadership and Public Policy

11 November 2023

The Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Ethics and Leadership at the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston has announced the winner and runner-up for its 2023 Prize for the Best Article on Ethics, Leadership, and Public Policy.

The runner-up for the prize is Joseph Millum (St Andrews), for his article, “Should Health Research Funding be Proportional to the Burden of Disease? in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (February, 2023).

Recognizing Millum’s article for "its exceptional ethical analysis and real-world applicability to state health research allocation decisions," the prize committee describes it as follows:

On what basis should states allocate their limited health research resources? One popular view is that allocations should reflect the relative burdens different diseases impose on a given population. This view—the proportional view—is widely accepted but has never been fully specified or defended. In "Should Health Research Funding be Proportional to the Burden of Disease?", Millum identifies three questions that proponents of the proportional view must answer to specify the content of their view and further defends the importance of taking into account the magnitude of benefits that research funding can produce and the distribution of benefits among potential beneficiaries, with greater weight given to diseases that are worse for individual patients. Overall, Millum defends a severity-weighted proportional view for allocating health research funds that provides a practical guide for decision-making while making room for several practical or circumstantial factors that might justify amending his formula.