Bioethics for the biosphere: Exploring climate (in)justice

Deadline: May 1, 2023
Contact: Beth Bee, East Carolina University

International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics: IJFAB

Call for papers for a special issue

Bioethics for the biosphere: Exploring climate (in)justice

Special issue editors: Beth Anne Bee & Christoph Rehmann-Sutter

Climate change is a global threat to human and environmental wellbeing. Mitigating this threat and preventing further planetary deterioration through social transformation and policy change raise numerous and urgent issues of ethics and justice from bodily to global scales. What is at stake is how to keep a livable planet. Such issues are at the heart of bioethics, which was once conceived as a means to address global problems through the recognition of interdependency of humans and nature and the preservation of the health and wellbeing of future generations. At the same time, bioethics draws our attention to the injustices and moral atrocities of climate change as a preventable socio-ecological harm (Shklar, 1990, Card 2004, Francis 2021, Cuomo 2017). The climate crisis is hence an issue of intra- and intergenerational justice, as well as an issue of human positioning in the biosphere and ecological-social practices. Yet, while bioethics scholars acknowledge the relevance of climate change to both human and ecological health and thus the role of bioethics (Macpherson 2016, Jennings 2016), the necessity to address these issues through a feminist lens cannot be understated.

Feminist scholars across a range of disciplines have engaged with the ethical dimensions of the
climate crisis including justice in geoengineering (Svoboda et al. 2011), intersectional justice and academic responsibility for climate change (Olson 2022), and the lack of attention to issues of race and racism in the climate justice literature (Tuana 2019) to name a few. However, there remains a relative paucity of scholarship that attends to the bioethical dimensions of climate change from a feminist perspective. Feminist bioethicists acknowledge this paucity and have called for greater attention to issues of climate change and have identified several areas of overlap including vulnerability, responsibility, relationality, bodily autonomy, identity, and ethics of care (Sherwin 2008, Rawlinson 2017, MacKay and Tumilty 2022, Rogers et al. 2022). We therefore invite papers from diverse disciplines that offer critical engagements of the bioethical dimensions of climate change from a feminist perspective to push the field of feminist bioethics forward. Papers shall explore the climate crisis as a complex issue of injustice that transcends generations, extends into the biosphere, and needs to be studied and discussed from diverse feminist bioethics points of view, in the contexts of diverse political-ecological spaces and bodies. Topics may include but are not limited to: the bio-political and intersectional aspects of climate change and health, including bodily autonomy, vulnerability, and reproductive health; ‘Malthusian’ questions of population growth in the global south; anti-colonial approaches to interrogating biotech and medical discourses and practices related to climate change; the relationship between food and agricultural systems and climate change; and questions of de-growth, the (bio)economy, and the commons.

If interested, please submit an abstract of 200–250 words to Beth A. Bee ( and
Christoph Rehmann-Sutter ( by Monday, May 1, 2023.

Posted on February 28, 2023