Meet our Team

Dr Andrea Palk


Dr Andrea Palk completed her studies in philosophy at Stellenbosch University in 2018, after also having worked as a part-time lecturer and research assistant in the department for a number of years.  During her studies, she received various awards and bursaries, including the Rector’s Medal for the top MA thesis in the faculty in 2014.  Her doctoral studies were supported by a three-year Innovation Bursary from the National Research Foundation, after which she was awarded a six-month Consolidoc Postdoctoral Bursary from Stellenbosch University.  In July 2018, she was appointed as a postdoctoral fellow in the psychiatry department at UCT, where she worked on various themes related to the philosophy and ethics of psychiatry.  Since 2018, she has also been a member of the Africa Ethics Working Group (AEWG) which is part of the global initiative in neuropsychiatric ethics based at the University of Oxford (  Dr Palk was appointed as a permanent lecturer in the philosophy department at Stellenbosch University in May 2020.  Her research areas include various themes within bioethics, moral philosophy and the philosophy of psychiatry.


Journal articles

  • Stein, D.J., Palk, A.C. & Kendler, K.S. What is a mental disorder? An exemplar-focused approach. Psychological Medicine, 1-8.
  • Palk, A.C., Illes, J., Thompson, P.M. & Stein, D.J. 2020. Ethical Issues in Global Neuroimaging Genetics Collaborations. NeuroImage.
  • Palk, A.C., Bitta, M., Kamaara, E., Stein, D.J. & Singh, I. 2020. Investigating assumptions of vulnerability – A case study of the exclusion of psychiatric inpatients as participants in genetics research in low- and middle-income contexts. Developing World Bioethics. 1-10.
  • Gouse, H., Palk, A.C. & Marcotte, T. 2019. A case study of the ethics of HIV related neurocognitive impairment research in employed populations. Bulletin of the Caribbean Network of Research Ethics Committees. 1(2): 3-5.
  • Palk, A.C., Dalvie, S., De Vries, J. Martin, A.R. & Stein, D.J. Potential use of clinical polygenic risk scores in psychiatry – ethical implications and communicating high polygenic risk. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, 14(1).
  • Palk, A.C. Mandatory neurointerventions could enhance the mental integrity of certain criminal offenders. AJOB Neuroscience, 9(3):150-152.
  • Palk, A.C. 2015. The implausibility of appeals to human dignity: An investigation into the efficacy of notions of human dignity in the transhumanism debate. South African Journal of Philosophy: 34(1): 39-54.

 Book chapters

  • Palk A.C. 2022. Towards a more globally inclusive and relevant neuroethics: considerations for developing the field in Africa. In Jones, C., Kruger, M., van den Heever & van Niekerk (Eds.), Challenges in Medical Ethics: the South African context. SUNPress.
  • Palk, A.C. & Stein, D.J. 2021. Ethical implications of genomic research on dementia in sub-Saharan Africa: Addressing the risk of stigma. In Dubljević, V. and Bottenberg, F. (Eds.): Living with Dementia: Ethical and Neuroscientific Issues in International Perspectives. Springer, Cham: 199-221.
  • Palk, A.C. & Stein, D.J. 2020. Cosmetic psychopharmacology in a global context. In D Stein & I Singh, Global mental health and neuroethics. Elsevier: 95-115.
  • Palk, A.C. & Stein, D.J. 2020. Ethical issues in global mental health. In D Stein & I Singh, Global mental health and neuroethics. Elsevier: 265-285.
  • Stein, D.J. & Palk, A.C. 2020. Moving beyond scientism and skepticism. In D Stein & I Singh, Global mental health and neuroethics. Elsevier: 7-16.



  • Medical Ethics for Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (Fifth year level)
  • Philosophy and Ethics 314 (for Engineers)
  • Philosophy and Ethics 414 (for Engineers)
  • Philosophy 244 (Philosophy of Religion)
  • Philosophy 144 (Moral Philosophy)
  • Bioethics (MPhil in Applied Ethics)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Ethics