Associate Professor Christopher Jordens

Associate Professor in Bioethics / Principal Research Fellow
Centre for Values, Ethics & Law in Medicine (VELIM), School of Public Health

K25 - Medical Foundation Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

T: +61 2 9036 3406
F: +61 2 9036 3436
W: Related website

Biographical details

Chris Jordens has an honours degree in philosophy and a masters degree in public health. He completed a PhD in 2002 under the supervision of Professor JR Martin in the department of linguistics at the University of Sydney. Chris taught epidemiology and biostatistics in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine in 1995 and 1996 and then took up a research position at the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (VELiM) when it was first established in 1997. He won a Scholarship in Surgical Ethics in 1997 and 1998 and worked on a program of research that focussed on the experiences of cancer survivors and their carers. The findings were distilled into a book called 'Surviving Survival' (Sydney: Choice Books, 2001) which inspired a television documentary by the same name (screened on 4-Corners in 2000) and another documentary called 'Living On' (screened on SBS TV several times between 2005 and 2007). In the early 2000s, Chris played a key role in creating the postgraduate teaching program in bioethics at the University of Sydney. From 2004-2007 he was founding co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, and from 2005-2010 he was a Research Fellow in an NHMRC-funded Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in infection, bioethics and haematological malignancies. The outcomes of the 'ethics theme' of the CCRE include over 40 peer-reviewed publications and 4 major grants (see: Chris has co-authored 49 peer-reviewed articles, many of which report the findings of qualitative research in clinical settings. He is currently Senior Lecturer in Bioethics and Senior Research Fellow in the School of Public Health.

Research interests

Chris's research interests span bioethics, sociology of health and illness, and the philosophy of medicine and public health. He has been involved in studies relating to clinical ethics; media reporting of health issues; umbilical cord blood banking; saviour siblings; direct-to-consumer advertising; consent; religion, and HIV prevention research. His research in health and illness focuses on the experience of people diagnosed with cancer, and includes studies relating to colorectal cancer, haematological malignancies, ovarian cancer, cancer in adolescents and young adults, and communication and trust between health experts and lay people. Chris's philosophical interests inform all of his research.

Teaching areas

Christopher Jordens teaches and coordinates two coursework units of study in the Sydney Bioethics program: Philosophy of Medicine (BETH5102) and Biomedicine and Society (BETH5103). He also supervises research students at honours, masters, and doctoral levels in the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (VELiM).