News and Links

Bioethics welcomes our new Coordinator

Dr Ainsley Newson

Please join us in welcoming our new course coordinator, Dr Ainsley Newson!

Ainsley is Senior Lecturer in Bioethics and 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 has Bachelor’s degrees in Science (human genetics) and Law and a PhD in Medical Ethics, all gained from the University of Melbourne. She comes to us after 7 years at the Centre for Ethics in Medicine at the University of Bristol, where she was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008. 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.

Dr Newson’s days of work are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. She can be contacted by phone at +61 2 9036 3409 or by email at .

Bridget takes the ethic's debate to Tasmania

Bridget Haire

Congratulations to Bridget Haire who will represent the University of Sydney at this week's finals of the Trans-Tasman Three Minute Thesis competition. Bridget, who recently completed the Master of Bioethics, won the University of Sydney's stage of the competition with a presentation on her research on HIV treatment trials.

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition challenges postgraduate research students to present their research topic in just three minutes to an intelligent, non-specialist audience in an engaging way. Bridget's talk questions whether it is ethical to issue trial participants with a placebo in order to test the effectiveness of an established treatment.

To see the full story, go to University news.

Ian Kerridge of the ethics of Kevin Rudd's heart

Ian Kerridge

Ian Kerridge recently joined Alan Saunders at the ABC Philosopher's Zone to discuss the ethics of Kevin Rudd's heart. Inserting a cow valve into Kevin Rudd's heart is not a new medical technique but is it part of a general move towards xenotransplantation. Xenotransplantation is when you take living cells, tissues and organs from one species and transplant them into another. Human xenotransplantation offers a potential treatment for end-stage organ failure, but it also raises many novel medical, legal and ethical issues.

The program looks at the moral issues arising out of what happened and the ethics of xenotransplantation. Most of us are happy to admit bits of cattle or pig into our bodies, but we normally do it with a knife and fork. Are things different, ethically speaking, if it's done surgically?

The full program and a transcript are available online at here at the Philosopher's Zone website.

Regular Events

Group discussion

When : Every Thursday lunchtime (starts at 12.30) through the teaching semester.

VELiM runs a brown-bag series called Conversation in the Office. Conversation is an informal meeting that encourages Velimers to discuss ideas, issues, and research of interest. It can be used as a way to introduce others to one's research, to workshop one's methods or analysis, to introduce new colleagues, or to communally chew through a particular idea one has been musing about.

Conversation is friendly and fun as well as smart and helpful. We invite your participation. If you'd like to lead a conversation or just come along, please email Dr Claire Hooker.

Useful Bioethics links