The academic staff responsible for teaching in the Sydney Bioethics Program come from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds and are all research-active.

Core Staff

Guest Lecturers

Core Staff

Dr Rob Irvine

Dr Rob Irvine

Rob Irvine is an Associate of the Centre for Values, Ethics and Law in Medicine (VELiM). He has primary responsibility for the Critical Concepts in Bioethics unit (BETH 5000). He is an Honorary Professorial Fellow, Centre for the Study of Ethics in Medicine and Society, Department of Medicine, Monash University.

Rob has interests in the sociology of and sociology in bioethics and professional ethics, systems of professional governance, and social, moral and political issues that surround human-animal relations. Recent research and publications have focussed upon the ethics of inter-disciplinary teamwork, and the social and ethical implications of telemedicine.

Rob has an honours degree in sociology and a PhD in sociology from the University of Edinburgh. His thesis was in medical sociology. He has taught sociology and ethics at the University of Newcastle and the Community Health and Research Training Unit (CHRTU), University of Western Australia. Before joining the CHRTU he was a Research Fellow at the Abt. Für Mediziniche Soziologie, Albert Ludwigs’ Universität, Freiburg im Breisgau.


Dr Chris Jordens

Dr Chris Jordens

Chris Jordens is a part-time lecturer at the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (VELiM). He has been involved in the development of the new bioethics program since 2003, and has primary responsibility for the Biomedicine and Society unit (BETH 5103).

Chris has broad-ranging interests in social and ethical issues relating to health and medicine, and he specialises in qualitative and linguistic methods of inquiry. Recent research interests include, direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs, advance care planning and patient experience of bone marrow transplantation and advanced ovarian cancer. As well as working at VELIM, Chris works part time as Clinical Research Fellow in an NHMRC Centre for Clinical Research Excellence that focuses on infection control and bioethical issues in haematological malignancies.

Chris has an honours degree in philosophy, a masters degree in public health, and a PhD which forms part of VELIM's ongoing research program. He has taught quantitative research methods to students in the Faculty of Medicine and at Yooroang Garang Centre for Indigenous Health Studies, and he has also taught in the Master of Professional Communications program in the English Department. He has worked as an interdisciplinary researcher at VELIM since 1997, and is currently co-editor of the new Journal of Bioethical Inquiry.

Phone: +61 2 9036 3406

Associate Professor Ian Kerridge

Associate Professor Ian Kerridge

Ian Kerridge is Associate Professor in Bioethics and Director of the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (VELiM) within the Faculty of Medicine. He also works as a Staff Specialist Haematologist/Bone Marrow Transplant physician at Westmead Hospital, Sydney. He is primarily responsible for Ethics and Public Health (BETH 5203), Human and Animal Research Ethics (BETH5202) and Clinical Ethics (BETH5204) including the Professional Development Program. He also takes classes in a number of the other units of study including Core Concepts in Bioethics, Ethics and Mental Health, and Introduction to Ethical Reasoning.

Ian's research interests include the philosophy of science and medicine, moral reasoning, end-of-life issues, transplantation, stem cells, decision-making, clinical ethics, complementary medicine, the relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and the healthcare professions, and the use of literature and narrative as a means for exploring ethics and the experience of health and illness.

Ian trained in medicine at the University of Newcastle, transplantation at the Royal Free and University College Hospitals in London, and philosophy and ethics at the Universities of Sydney, Newcastle and Cambridge. He is widely published in ethics and is the author of 3 textbooks and over 80 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Phone: +61 2 9036 3405

Dr Ainsley Newson

Ainsley Newson

Ainsley Newson is Senior Lecturer in Bioethics at the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (VELiM) and is Coordinator of the Sydney Bioethics Program. Within the Program she is also responsible for Ethics and Biotechnology: Genes & Stem Cells ((BETH 5201) among other Units of Study.

Ainsley’s research interests include ethical aspects of clinical and reproductive decision-making in genetics - especially prenatal diagnosis and family communication, genetics and public health, mechanisms of clinical ethics support and ethical issues in emerging technologies such as synthetic biology.

Ainsley has Bachelor’s degrees in Science (human genetics) and Law and a PhD in Medical Ethics, all gained from the University of Melbourne. She undertook postdoctoral work in the Medical Ethics Unit at Imperial College London and then worked for nearly 7 years at the Centre for Ethics in Medicine at the University of Bristol; being promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008. Ainsley has over 35 peer reviewed publications and has received grant funding from the European Union, the Wellcome Trust and the National Institute of Health Research (UK). Ainsley also enjoys public engagement and media commentary on ethical issues in medicine and biotechnology.

Phone: +61 2 9036 3409

Dr Michael Robertson

Michael Robertson is a Senior Research Fellow at VELiM and a Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Psychological Medicine. He is currently leading grant funded research in the areas of Values Based Medical practice and clinical decision making in questions of involuntary psychiatric treatment. He is the coordinator of Ethics and Mental Health (BETH 5205). He is the Deputy Editor of Australasian Psychiatry and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry.

Michael has published in the area of psychiatric ethics, psychiatry and popular culture, psychological trauma, the philosophy of psychiatry and psychotherapy. He provides regular commentary to the popular media on questions of psychiatry, society and ethical questions.

Phone: +61 2 9515 8165

Guest Lecturers

Guest lecturers are experts in the field of bioethics and biographical details will be provided with unit of study materials each semester.

Guest lecturers include:

  • A/Prof Kristine Barlow Stewart
  • Dr Stacy Carter
  • Prof Simon Chapman
  • Ms Katherine Cummings
  • Mr Chris Degeling
  • Dr Liz Ellis
  • Prof Lyn Gilbert
  • Dr Claire Hooker
  • Dr Wendy Hu
  • A/Prof David Isaacs
  • Dr Henry Kilham
  • Dr Wendy Lipworth
  • Dr Rob Loblay
  • Prof Margaret Rose
  • Prof Glenn Salkeld
  • Dr Peter Saul
  • Ms Moira Stephens