Christine Clavien

Associate Professor


Christine Clavien is an ethicist and a philosopher of science. After a thesis on evolutionary ethics conjunctly conducted at the Universities of Neuchâtel (Switzerland) and Paris I, and a post-doctoral fellowship at Columbia University (New York), she worked as post-doc, then as junior lecturer at the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Lausanne, before joining Geneva University in 2015. She is faculty member of the Institute for Ethics, History and the Humanities (iEH2), first as senior lecturer, then as Associate Professor since 2022.

She is an active member of the National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics, of the Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology (ECNH), and  of the working group « Planification anticipée concernant la santé ».



Medical ethics (e.g. assignment of responsibilities, patient-health professional relationship, end-of-life issues)

Descriptive ethics (evolution of moral competencies, moral motivation, moral intuitions and judgment, altruism and helping behavior)

Ethics of the nudges

Research integrity


Head of the "Science and Ethics" research group

Member of the research group "Biomedical Ethics"






More complete list on Archive ouverte



Schöpfer C, Ehrler F, Berger A, Bollondi Pauly C, Buytaert L, De La Serna C, Hartheiser F, Fassier T, Clavien C, A Mobile App for Advance Care Planning and Advance Directives (Accordons-nous): Development and Usability Study. JMIR Hum Factors 2022;9(2):e34626.

Sader J, Audétat M-C, Nendaz M., Hurst S, Clavien C, Design Bioethics, Not Only as a Research Tool but Also a Pedagogical Tool, The American Journal of Bioethics, 2021, 21, pp. 69-71.

Chieze M, Clavien C, Kaiser S, Hurst S. Coercive Measures in Psychiatry: A Review of Ethical Arguments. In: Frontiers in psychiatry, 2021.

Kurzen J, Clavien C, Hurst S. General public's view on opt-in, opt-out, and mandated choice organ donation policies: a qualitative study involving Swiss French-speaking citizens favourably disposed towards organ donation. Swiss Med Wkly. 2021-Nov 6;151:w30037.

Papis T, Clavien C. Do Primary Care Physicians Contribute to the Immunization Status of Their Adult Patients? A Story of Patients' Overconfidence Coupled With Physicians' Passivity. Frontiers in Medicine, 8, 2021.

Clavien C, Cova F, Evolutionary Psychology and Ethics, in T. K. Shackelford (ed.), The SAGE Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, SAGE Publications, 2021, pp. 379-402.

Clavien C, Hurst S: The undeserving sick? An evaluation of patients' responsibility for their health condition", Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics. 2020, 29, p. 175-19, 2020.

Malbois E, Clavien C, Overcoming the limits of empathic concern: the case for availability and its application to the medical domain, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 23, pp. 191-203, 2020.

Clavien C : Une évaluation éthique du consentement présumé pour le don d'organes en Suisse. Revue Médicale Suisse. 682, pp. 370-373, 2020.

Clavien C : Ethics of nudges: a general framework with a focus on shared preference justifications. The Journal of Moral Education. 8 jan, 2018.

Clavien C, Chloë FitzGerald: The evolution of moral intuitions and their feeling of rightness. in R. Joyce (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy. Routledge, pp. 309-321, 2018.

Clavien C : Altruisme, l’Encyclopédie philosophique. 2018.

Clavien C, Mersch D., Chapuisat, M: No evidence for moral reward and punishment in an anonymous context. PLoS ONE, 11/3, 2016.

Clavien C, Chapuiat M.: The evolution of utility functions and psychological altruism. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science C. 56, 2016, pp. 24-31.

Clavien C, Chapuisat M: Altruism across disciplines: one word, multiple meanings. Biology and Philosophy. 28, 2013, pp. 125–40.

Clavien C, Tanner C, Clément F, Chapuisat M : Choosy moral punishers. PLoS ONE. 7/6, 2012, e39002. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039002

Clavien C, Klein R: Eager for fairness or revenge: psychological altruism in economics. Economics and Philosophy. 26, 2010, pp. 267-290.


Je t'aide moi non plus: biologique, comportemental ou psychologique, l'altruisme dans tous ses états. Paris : Vuibert, 2010.

Participation in official reports and opinions



  • "Nudging en contexte médical: quels en sont les effets sur le bonheur et l’autonomie des patients?" Symposium 2019 de la CCE & CNE-NEK: L'autonomie et le bonheur, Bern, 28.06.2019
  • "An App for promoting advance care planning" WINK (Welfare Improvement through Nudging Knowledge), Utrecht, 19-20.06.2019
  • "An ethical framework for evaluating nudging technologies", The Cyborg Days, Zürich, 26-28.11.2018
  • "Ethical Evaluation of a (Possible) Default Organ Donation Law in Switzerland", MANCEPT, Manchester, 10-12.09.2018
  • "The Evolution of Moral Intuitions: Implications for Normative Ethics", CMPP Annual Conference - Biology and Ethics, Jerusalem, 21-23.06.2017

For an updated list, see here