Dr Cynthia Forlini

ARC DECRA Research Fellow
Sydney Health Ethics


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Biographical details

Dr Cynthia Forlini is a Research Fellow (Australia Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award 2015-2017) at Sydney Health Ethics (School of Public Health). Her work explores the neuroethical issues that arise as we redefine the boundaries between treatment, maintenance, and enhancement of cognitive performance. She has examined these issues conceptually and empirically as they relate to the use of neurotechnology (e.g. neuropharmaceuticals and non-invasive brain stimulation) in different contexts such as competitive academic environments, research, healthy cognitive ageing, and dementia prevention.

Cynthia completed her training in neuroethics at the Neuroethics Research Unit of the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (M.A., Université de Montréal; PhD, McGill University). She went on to a postdoctoral position within the Addiction Neuroethics Group at The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research. During her career, Cynthia has held visiting fellowships at the Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, Ruhr Universität Bochum (Germany) and the Institute of Social Medicine of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

Teaching and supervision

Unit coordinator

BETH5202: HUman and Animal Research Ethics (Master of Bioethics)

BMRI 5001: History, Philosophy and Ethics in the Brain and Mind Sciences (Master of Brain and Mind Sciences)

BMRI5023/5024: Research Activity(Master of Brain and Mind Sciences)

Current projects

The neuroethics of cognitive ageing- ARCDiscovery Early Career Researcher Award2015-2017

Healthy cognitive ageing in the 1921-26 cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health

Mapping the ethical landscape of dementia research in the ageing population

A review of the contributions of neuroethics scholarship

Associations

Co-chair, Sydney Early and Mid-Career Academics Network, The University of Sydney

Elected member of the Nominating Committee of the International Neuroethics Society

Co-Leader of Student/Early Career Researcher Stream Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law

Awards and honours

Herrenhausen Conference Travel Grant Award 2018. “Lost in the maze? Navigating evidence and ethics in translational neuroscience”.14-16 February, 2018. Hanover, Germany.

International Neuroethics Society Travel Stipend 2017. International Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting.

People’s Choice Award for Best Presentation. 2017 Lifespan Research Day. Lifespan Research Network, The University of Sydney.

International Visiting Fellowship in Medical Ethics 2012from the Institute for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, Ruhr Universität Bochum. Bochum, Germany.

International Scholarship 2007-2008from the l’Institut International de Recherche en Éthique Biomédicale. Research Internship at the Institute of Social Medicine of the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the media

SBS 'The Feed': "Nootropics- Do smart drugs reall make you more intelligent?". 4 June 2014.

ABC Radio National: "Do cognitive enhancing drugs actually make a person smarter?". 25 March 2018.

Selected grants

2018

  • Healthcare professionals and performance and image enhancing drugs (PIED) use: improving the quality and delivery of PIED e-learning programs; Van de Ven K, Forlini C, Ritter A, Hibbert E, Hibbert E; DVC Research/USyd-UNSW MoU: Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Comorbidity.
  • A critical neuroethical analysis of Australian guidelines, statements and policies on neurocognitive health in children, adolescents and the ageing population; Forlini C, Lipworth W, Naismith S, Nassar N; Lifespan Research Network/Lifespan Seed Grants Program.
  • Adaptive e-tutorials to facilitate critical thinking skill development; Werry E, McLean L, Hallock H, Holt R, Nash L, Forlini C; DVC Education/Small Educational Innovation Grant.

2017

  • Mapping the ethical landscape of dementia research in the ageing population; Forlini C, Jansen J, Pit S, Naganathan V, Valenzuela M; School of Public Health/SPH Collaboration Research Scheme.

2015

  • The neuroethics of cognitive ageing; Forlini C; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA).

Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • Forlini, C. (2017). Growing Up with Neuroethics: Challenges, Opportunities and Lessons from Being a Graduate Student at a Disciplinary Crossroads. In E Racine, J Aspler (Eds.), Debates about Neuroethics: Perspectives on Its Development, Focus, and Future, (pp. 201-212). Cham: Springer. [More Information]
  • Jensen, C., Partridge, B., Forlini, C., Hall, W., Lucke, J. (2016). Cognitive Enhancement Down-Under. In F Jotterand and V Dubljevic (Eds.), Cognitive Enhancement: Ethical and Policy Implications in International Perspectives, (pp. 1-17). New York: Oxford University Press. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Partridge, B., Lucke, J., Racine, E. (2015). Popular Media and Bioethics Scholarship: Sharing Responsibility for Portrayals of Cognitive Enhancement with Prescription Medications. In Jens Clausen, Neil Levy (Eds.), Handbook of Neuroethics, (pp. 1473-1486). Dordrecht: Springer. [More Information]
  • Lucke, J., Partridge, B., Forlini, C., Racine, E. (2015). Using Neuropharmaceuticals for Cognitive Enhancement: Policy and Regulatory Issues. In Jens Clausen, Neil Levy (Eds.), Handbook of Neuroethics, (pp. 1085-1100). Dordrecht: Springer. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Racine, E. (2013). Does the Cognitive Enhancement Debate Call for a Renewal of the Deliberative Role of Bioethics? In E Hildt, A G Franke (Eds.), Cognitive Enhancement: An interdisciplinary Perspective, (pp. 173-186). Dordrecht: Springer. [More Information]

Journals

  • Silva, D., Forlini, C., Meurk, C. (2018). Public Mental Health Ethics: Helping Improve Mental Health for Individuals and Communities. Public Health Ethics, 11(2), 121-125. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Hall, W. (2017). A prospectus for ethical analysis of ageing individuals� responsibility to prevent cognitive decline. Bioethics, 31(9), 657-665. [More Information]
  • Racine, E., Aspler, J., Forlini, C., Chandler, J. (2017). Contextualized autonomy and liberalism: Broadening the lenses on complementary and alternative medicines in preclinical Alzheimer�s disease. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, 27(1), 1-41. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C. (2017). Patient Preferences May Be Indicative of�Normative Issues in Dementia Research. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 59(1), 11-12. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Bell, E., Carter, A. (2017). Throwing the ethics (hand) book at professional organizations in the neurological sciences. AJOB Neuroscience, 8(4), W1-W2. [More Information]
  • Jensen, C., Forlini, C., Partridge, B., Hall, W. (2016). Australian university students' coping strategies and use of pharmaceutical stimulants as cognitive enhancers. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1-9. [More Information]
  • Racine, E., Forlini, C., Aspler, J., Chandler, J. (2016). Complementary and alternative medicine in the context of earlier diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease: opening the conversation to prepare ethical responses. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 51(1), 1-9. [More Information]
  • Gupta, M., Forlini, C., Lenton, K., Duchen, R., Lohfeld, L. (2016). The hidden ethics curriculum in two Canadian psychiatry residency programs: a qualitative study. Academic Psychiatry, 40(4), 592-599. [More Information]
  • Hall, W., Gartner, C., Forlini, C. (2015). Ethical issues raised by a ban on the sale of electronic nicotine devices. Addiction, 110(7), 1061-1067. [More Information]
  • Carter, A., Mosley, P., Forlini, C., Hall, W. (2015). Ethical, Social and Clinical Challenges in Using Deep Brain Stimulation to Treat Addiction and Other Impulsive and Compulsive Disorders. Jahrbuch fur Wissenschaft und Ethik, 19(1), 163-188. [More Information]
  • Riggall, K., Forlini, C., Carter, A., Hall, W., Weier, M., Partridge, B., Meinzer, M. (2015). Researchers' perspectives on scientific and ethical issues with transcranial direct current stimulation: An international survey. Scientific Reports, 5, 1-10. [More Information]
  • Hall, W., Carter, A., Forlini, C. (2015). The brain disease model of addiction: is it supported by the evidence and has it delivered on its promises? The Lancet Psychiatry, 2(1), 105-110. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Hall, W. (2015). The is and ought of the Ethics of Neuroenhancement: Mind the Gap. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1998. [More Information]
  • Mosley, P., Hall, W., Forlini, C., Carter, A. (2014). Alienation and authenticity in Parkinson's disease and its treatment. AJOB Neuroscience, 5(4), 54-56. [More Information]
  • Lee, N., Hall, W., Lucke, J., Forlini, C., Carter, A. (2014). Food addiction and its impact on weight-based stigma and the treatment of obese individuals in the U.S. and Australia. Nutrients, 6(11), 5312-5326. [More Information]
  • Wade, L., Forlini, C., Racine, E. (2014). Generating genius: How an Alzheimer's drug became considered a 'cognitive enhancer' for healthy individuals. BMC Medical Ethics, 15(1), 1-14. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Schildmann, J., Roser, P., Beranek, R., Vollmann, J. (2014). Knowledge, experiences and views of german university students toward neuroenhancement: An empirical-ethical analysis. Neuroethics, 8(2), 83-92. [More Information]
  • Racine, E., Martin Rubio, T., Chandler, J., Forlini, C., Lucke, J. (2014). The value and pitfalls of speculation about science and technology in bioethics: The case of cognitive enhancement. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 17(3), 325-337. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Racine, E., Vollmann, J., Schildmann, J. (2013). How Research on Stakeholder Perspectives Can Inform Policy on Cognitive Enhancement. The American Journal of Bioethics, 13(7), 41-43. [More Information]
  • Sattler, S., Forlini, C., Racine, E., Sauer, C. (2013). Impact of Contextual Factors and Substance Characteristics on Perspectives toward Cognitive Enhancement. PloS One, 8(8), 1-12. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Hall, W., Maxwell, B., Outram, S., Reiner, P., Repantis, D., Schermer, M., Racine, E. (2013). Navigating the enhancement landscape. Ethical issues in research on cognitive enhancers for healthy individuals. EMBO Reports, 14(2), 123-128. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Gauthier, S., Racine, E. (2013). Should physicians prescribe cognitive enhancers to healthy individuals? CMAJ, 185(12), 1047-1050. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Racine, E. (2012). Added Stakeholders, Added Value(s) to the Cognitive Enhancement Debate: Are Academic Discourse and Professional Policies Sidestepping Values of Stakeholders? AJOB Primary Research, 3(1), 33-47. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Racine, E. (2012). Stakeholder perspectives and reactions to "academic" cognitive enhancement: Unsuspected meaning of ambivalence and analogies. Public Understanding of Science, 21(5), 606-625. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Racine, E. (2011). Considering the Causes and Implications of Ambivalence in Using Medicine for Enhancement. The American Journal of Bioethics, 11(1), 15-17. [More Information]
  • Racine, E., Forlini, C. (2010). Cognitive enhancement, lifestyle choice or misuse of prescription drugs? Ethics blind spots in current debates. Neuroethics, 3, 1-4. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Kennett, J., Carter, A., Callaghan, S., Forlini, C., Levy, N., Vincent, N., McCay, A. (2017). Organiser. Neuroscience and Society 2017: Ethical, Legal & Clinical Implications of Neuroscience Research, Sydney, NSW: Presentation.

2018

  • Silva, D., Forlini, C., Meurk, C. (2018). Public Mental Health Ethics: Helping Improve Mental Health for Individuals and Communities. Public Health Ethics, 11(2), 121-125. [More Information]

2017

  • Forlini, C., Hall, W. (2017). A prospectus for ethical analysis of ageing individuals� responsibility to prevent cognitive decline. Bioethics, 31(9), 657-665. [More Information]
  • Racine, E., Aspler, J., Forlini, C., Chandler, J. (2017). Contextualized autonomy and liberalism: Broadening the lenses on complementary and alternative medicines in preclinical Alzheimer�s disease. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, 27(1), 1-41. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C. (2017). Growing Up with Neuroethics: Challenges, Opportunities and Lessons from Being a Graduate Student at a Disciplinary Crossroads. In E Racine, J Aspler (Eds.), Debates about Neuroethics: Perspectives on Its Development, Focus, and Future, (pp. 201-212). Cham: Springer. [More Information]
  • Kennett, J., Carter, A., Callaghan, S., Forlini, C., Levy, N., Vincent, N., McCay, A. (2017). Organiser. Neuroscience and Society 2017: Ethical, Legal & Clinical Implications of Neuroscience Research, Sydney, NSW: Presentation.
  • Forlini, C. (2017). Patient Preferences May Be Indicative of�Normative Issues in Dementia Research. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 59(1), 11-12. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Bell, E., Carter, A. (2017). Throwing the ethics (hand) book at professional organizations in the neurological sciences. AJOB Neuroscience, 8(4), W1-W2. [More Information]

2016

  • Jensen, C., Forlini, C., Partridge, B., Hall, W. (2016). Australian university students' coping strategies and use of pharmaceutical stimulants as cognitive enhancers. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1-9. [More Information]
  • Jensen, C., Partridge, B., Forlini, C., Hall, W., Lucke, J. (2016). Cognitive Enhancement Down-Under. In F Jotterand and V Dubljevic (Eds.), Cognitive Enhancement: Ethical and Policy Implications in International Perspectives, (pp. 1-17). New York: Oxford University Press. [More Information]
  • Racine, E., Forlini, C., Aspler, J., Chandler, J. (2016). Complementary and alternative medicine in the context of earlier diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease: opening the conversation to prepare ethical responses. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 51(1), 1-9. [More Information]
  • Gupta, M., Forlini, C., Lenton, K., Duchen, R., Lohfeld, L. (2016). The hidden ethics curriculum in two Canadian psychiatry residency programs: a qualitative study. Academic Psychiatry, 40(4), 592-599. [More Information]

2015

  • Hall, W., Gartner, C., Forlini, C. (2015). Ethical issues raised by a ban on the sale of electronic nicotine devices. Addiction, 110(7), 1061-1067. [More Information]
  • Carter, A., Mosley, P., Forlini, C., Hall, W. (2015). Ethical, Social and Clinical Challenges in Using Deep Brain Stimulation to Treat Addiction and Other Impulsive and Compulsive Disorders. Jahrbuch fur Wissenschaft und Ethik, 19(1), 163-188. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Partridge, B., Lucke, J., Racine, E. (2015). Popular Media and Bioethics Scholarship: Sharing Responsibility for Portrayals of Cognitive Enhancement with Prescription Medications. In Jens Clausen, Neil Levy (Eds.), Handbook of Neuroethics, (pp. 1473-1486). Dordrecht: Springer. [More Information]
  • Riggall, K., Forlini, C., Carter, A., Hall, W., Weier, M., Partridge, B., Meinzer, M. (2015). Researchers' perspectives on scientific and ethical issues with transcranial direct current stimulation: An international survey. Scientific Reports, 5, 1-10. [More Information]
  • Hall, W., Carter, A., Forlini, C. (2015). The brain disease model of addiction: is it supported by the evidence and has it delivered on its promises? The Lancet Psychiatry, 2(1), 105-110. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Hall, W. (2015). The is and ought of the Ethics of Neuroenhancement: Mind the Gap. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1998. [More Information]
  • Lucke, J., Partridge, B., Forlini, C., Racine, E. (2015). Using Neuropharmaceuticals for Cognitive Enhancement: Policy and Regulatory Issues. In Jens Clausen, Neil Levy (Eds.), Handbook of Neuroethics, (pp. 1085-1100). Dordrecht: Springer. [More Information]

2014

  • Mosley, P., Hall, W., Forlini, C., Carter, A. (2014). Alienation and authenticity in Parkinson's disease and its treatment. AJOB Neuroscience, 5(4), 54-56. [More Information]
  • Lee, N., Hall, W., Lucke, J., Forlini, C., Carter, A. (2014). Food addiction and its impact on weight-based stigma and the treatment of obese individuals in the U.S. and Australia. Nutrients, 6(11), 5312-5326. [More Information]
  • Wade, L., Forlini, C., Racine, E. (2014). Generating genius: How an Alzheimer's drug became considered a 'cognitive enhancer' for healthy individuals. BMC Medical Ethics, 15(1), 1-14. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Schildmann, J., Roser, P., Beranek, R., Vollmann, J. (2014). Knowledge, experiences and views of german university students toward neuroenhancement: An empirical-ethical analysis. Neuroethics, 8(2), 83-92. [More Information]
  • Racine, E., Martin Rubio, T., Chandler, J., Forlini, C., Lucke, J. (2014). The value and pitfalls of speculation about science and technology in bioethics: The case of cognitive enhancement. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 17(3), 325-337. [More Information]

2013

  • Forlini, C., Racine, E. (2013). Does the Cognitive Enhancement Debate Call for a Renewal of the Deliberative Role of Bioethics? In E Hildt, A G Franke (Eds.), Cognitive Enhancement: An interdisciplinary Perspective, (pp. 173-186). Dordrecht: Springer. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Racine, E., Vollmann, J., Schildmann, J. (2013). How Research on Stakeholder Perspectives Can Inform Policy on Cognitive Enhancement. The American Journal of Bioethics, 13(7), 41-43. [More Information]
  • Sattler, S., Forlini, C., Racine, E., Sauer, C. (2013). Impact of Contextual Factors and Substance Characteristics on Perspectives toward Cognitive Enhancement. PloS One, 8(8), 1-12. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Hall, W., Maxwell, B., Outram, S., Reiner, P., Repantis, D., Schermer, M., Racine, E. (2013). Navigating the enhancement landscape. Ethical issues in research on cognitive enhancers for healthy individuals. EMBO Reports, 14(2), 123-128. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Gauthier, S., Racine, E. (2013). Should physicians prescribe cognitive enhancers to healthy individuals? CMAJ, 185(12), 1047-1050. [More Information]

2012

  • Forlini, C., Racine, E. (2012). Added Stakeholders, Added Value(s) to the Cognitive Enhancement Debate: Are Academic Discourse and Professional Policies Sidestepping Values of Stakeholders? AJOB Primary Research, 3(1), 33-47. [More Information]
  • Forlini, C., Racine, E. (2012). Stakeholder perspectives and reactions to "academic" cognitive enhancement: Unsuspected meaning of ambivalence and analogies. Public Understanding of Science, 21(5), 606-625. [More Information]

2011

  • Forlini, C., Racine, E. (2011). Considering the Causes and Implications of Ambivalence in Using Medicine for Enhancement. The American Journal of Bioethics, 11(1), 15-17. [More Information]

2010

  • Racine, E., Forlini, C. (2010). Cognitive enhancement, lifestyle choice or misuse of prescription drugs? Ethics blind spots in current debates. Neuroethics, 3, 1-4. [More Information]

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