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Jessica Stockdale

Jess Stockdale

Jessica Stockdale (BA, MA, AFHEA)

Doctoral Researcher
T: +44 (0)1273 644187
Location: Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Room 322, Watson Building, University of Brighton, Falmer BN1 9PH

Areas of Expertise: political philosophy; medical ethics; epistemology; photography; history of science

Research Areas: planetary health; data ethics; environmental health justice 

Other positions: Course leader, SSC Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Medicine; Associate, Sussex Humanities Lab; Fellow, Sussex Sustainability Research Programme 

Twitter: @_JAStockdale

Instagram: @_JAStockdale



Jessica Stockdale is a philosopher working across both BSMS in the Department of Primary Care and Public Health, and the University of Sussex in the School of Media, Arts and Humanities. After completing her Masters in Philosophy at King’s College London, Jessica embarked on her PhD supervised by Prof. Andy Clark at the University of Sussex, and Prof. Jackie Cassell at BSMS. Her thesis investigated research integrity in the field of medicine, with a special focus on how epistemological and ethical issues can affect the generation of scientific evidence.

Alongside her philosophical work, Jessica is also a professional philosopher who works on long term reportage and documentary projects linked to her research. She has exhibited her work in several international settings including Canada and Germany.  


Jessica’s research combines philosophy with empirical inquiry to investigate key conceptual issues related to health and healthcare with a special focus on epistemology, ethics, and political philosophy. Jessica’s current research concerns the ethical, political and economic dimensions of using real-world health data in research and development; justice-based issues in planetary health, an emerging field which aims to safeguard both human health and the natural systems underpinning it; and indigenous philosophical perspectives on the environment and land rights in Papua New Guinea. Jessica is currently a co-investigator on the on this GCRF funded International Development Challenge Fund project entitled Mapping COVID-19 impacts on Papua New Guinea conservation and building a collaboration between ecology, arts, and the humanities to help preserve forests and indigenous land rights. The objective of this project is to evaluating COVID-19 impacts on PNG biodiversity conservation, and expand existing international partnership to include humanities researchers from Sussex and Papua New Guinea to strengthen conservation and indigenous land rights.To learn more about Jessica’s work specifically around planetary health, see the following filmed presentation delivered at the Association of Medical Humanities Annual Meeting in 2021. View on YouTube here >



Jessica teaches undergraduate and postgraduate humanities-based courses at BSMS, including as course leader for the SSC Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Medicine for first year BM BS students. The aim of this course is to introduce students to several key conceptual issues that arise in medicine, supporting students to develop core skills in critical evaluation and analysis. During the first half of this course students explore the distinctions between health, disease, and wellbeing, before moving on in the second half to consider the role of medical research in the production of evidence. 

In addition to SSC teaching, Jessica also supervises fourth year BM BS student independent research projects. This covers a range of topics across epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, art history and visual culture. Recent projects include intergenerational justice and planetary health; vegan diets, health and ethics; and the right to health. 

Selected publications

Stockdale, J.A. (2022) The disease burden of global anthropogenic landscape change morally obliges individuals to share their personal data for health research: a policy project utilizing philosophical investigation and stakeholder discussion. Planetary Health Annual Meeting, 31st October-2nd November 2022, Harvard Medical School. 

Spithoff, S., Stockdale, J.A., Rowe, R., McPhail, B., and Persaud, N., (2022) The commercialization of patient data in Canada: Ethics, privacy and policy. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 194 (3). pp. e95-e97. DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.210455.

Stockdale, J.A., (2021) The global appears in the clinic: Emerging opportunities in the spatial expansion of medicine under planetary health. Association of the Medical Humanities Annual Meeting, 15th-17th June 2021, University of Limerick.

Stockdale, Jessica, Cassell, Jackie and Ford, Elizabeth (2019) “Giving something back”: a systematic review and ethical enquiry into public views on the use of patient data for research in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Wellcome Open Research, 3 (6). pp. 1-24.  

Stockdale, Jessica (2019) A philosophical analysis of research in the medical sciences: the qualitative-quantitative divide is cultural rather than epistemic. In: Metascience 2019 Symposium: The Emerging Field of Research on the Scientific Process, 5th-8th September 2019, Stanford University

Ford, Elizabeth, Stockdale, Jessica, Jackson, Richard and Cassell, Jackie (2017) For the greater good? Patient and public attitudes to use of medical free text data in research. International Population Data Linkage Network (IPDLN) 2016 Conference, Swansea, Wales, 24-26 August 2016. Published in: International Journal of Population Data Science. 1 (1) 229. Swansea University.