NEWS and EVENTS 2012

LIVING WITH (OUT) ANIMALS: Non-Human Ethics for the 21st Century

22 October, 12.30-5.00 pm, Darlington Centre

Speakers included:

  • Jan Deckers (University of Newcastle UK)"Why everyone should support the vegan project, both up there & down under"
  • Rob Irvine (USYD) "What is this thing called Animal Ethics?"
  • John Hadley (UWS) “What’s the use of animal rights extremism? Violence on behalf of nonhuman animals in liberal democratic states”
  • Jane Johnson (MQ) “The ethics of animal vulnerability”
  • Chris Degeling (USYD) "Future frontiers: Animal human conflict & infectious disease"


8 October 2012, Refectory, Holme Building

Non-communicable disease prevalence is rising around the globe, shaping the work of public health policymakers and practitioners. In Australia and elsewhere, this agenda is dominated by concern about overweight and obesity. The news media routinely reports on an out-of-control obesity epidemic, costing millions and threatening future generations. This is not just a scientific challenge. It’s also an ethical and political challenge. In this seminar we will consider what public health ethics can contribute to the debate on non-communicable diseases. Might some approaches to managing non-communicable diseases in populations be more ethical than others? How can we tell? We will focus our attention especially, but not exclusively, on overweight and obesity.

Come along if you would like to:

  • Hear an introduction to public health ethics from one of the leading international scholars in the field
  • Consider the ethical significance of issues including urban design, eating animals and obesity stigma for the public health response to non-communicable diseases
  • Consider what we should do about overweight and obesity in Australia
  • Be part of a conversation between colleagues from a range of practices and disciplines – we have left plenty of time for a lively debate!

Click here for full program.


WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS: Prof Steve Simpson, Charles Perkins Centre and Prof Glenn Salkeld, Sydney School of Public Health

Prof Ross Upshur, University of Toronto, Canada
What can public health ethics tell us about intervening in non-communicable diseases?
Discussion chair: Professor Paul Griffiths, Department of Philosophy, The University of Sydney

A/Prof Peter Sainsbury, South Western Sydney and Sydney Local Health Districts & The University of Sydney
Urban design and public health ethics
Discussion chair: A/Prof Nicole Gurran, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, The University of Sydney

Dr Jan Deckers, Newcastle University, UK
The farm animal sector and public health ethics
Discussion chair: Dr Chris Degeling, Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine

Dr Lenny R. Vartanian, School of Psychology, University of NSW
Obesity stigma and public health
Discussion chair: Dr Fiona Giles, School of Letters, Art, and Media, The University of Sydney

Dr Stacy Carter, Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine
Overweight and obesity: individuals, populations and public health ethics
Discussion chair: Dr Philayrath Phongsavan, Prevention Research Collaboration, The University of Sydney

FINAL PANEL DISCUSSION: How might public health ethics change the way we intervene in non-communicable diseases in populations?
Dr Jo Mitchell, NSW Ministry of Health
Belinda Reeve, Sydney Law School
Prof Stephen Leeder, Menzies Centre for Health Policy
Prof Adrian Bauman, Prevention Research Collaboration
A/Prof Ian Kerridge, Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine

LAUNCH: The Growing Up with Cancer Self-Portrait Exhibition

The Riverside Theatres, Corner Church and Market Streets Parramatta

6 October 2012, 2.00pm-4.00pm

Growing Up With Cancer is an innovative project using research and creative practice to understand the experience of having cancer during adolescence and young adulthood. Funded through an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (LP0883632), it brought together researchers, artists, advocates and clinicians at the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine at the University of Sydney, the University of Newcastle, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and CanTeen - the Australian Organisation for Young People Living with Cancer. During 2010 and 2011, 27 young people participated in interviews about the nature and extent of the impact of cancer on the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Of these, 19 collaborated with artist Kris Smith or worked on their own, to produce a self-portrait that represented them and the impact of cancer on their experience of growing up.

You are invited to the launch of a series of exhibitions of these beautiful, poignant, strong, funny, and thought-provoking images.

For more information click here or download the flyer.


4 October 2012, 9.00 am-5.00 pm, Refectory, Holme Building

A one-day seminar presented by the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine at the University of Sydney.

Medicine tends to get a bad press from academics, managers and the media. It is accused of being too powerful, out of touch with patients, lacking in compassion, overly expensive, and failing to maintain standards of care and safety. On the other hand, doctors remain among the most highly trusted of professionals.

Questions to be explored at the seminar will centre around :-
Is something unattainable being demanded of doctors?
If knowledge is the key to medical reform, what kinds of knowledge are required?
What kinds of evidence should underpin medical practice?
What kind of ethics do doctors actually espouse?
How well does medical education currently prepare students for the future?
How should medicine deal with the rationing of scarce resources?

For further information, email or .

Click here to download flyer.

The 2012 Memorial John McPhee Seminar

Monday, 6 August 2012, featuring guest speaker Professor Malcolm Parker

"Fool Me Once..." Should We Give Misbehaving Undergraduates a Second Chance?

The Clinical Unit in Ethics and Health Law (CUEHL) is pleased to present this fifth annual seminar in memory of John McPhee. John McPhee was a long-time member of CUEHL; an author, teacher, webmaster, local identity and respected authority in Health Law circles throughout Australia. He died in 2007. This year, we welcome as our guest speaker Professor Malcolm Parker, a leader in the field of undergraduate and postgraduate
professional behaviour.

Venue: Lecture Theatre, Royal Newcastle Centre

Time: 6.00 pm for 6.30 pm start (supper provided)

Schizophrenia: The Future of Our Fascination

Dr Angela Woods, Centre for Medical Humanities, Durham University

3 July 2012 at 2 pm in the Refectory, Main Quad

Angela Woods is a researcher in medical humanities and co-director of ‘Hearing the Voice’, a large interdisciplinary study of voice-hearing funded by a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award. She has a PhD in literary and cultural studies from the University of Melbourne, and her first book The Sublime Object of Psychiatry: Schizophrenia in Clinical and Cultural Theory was published as part of OUP’s ‘International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry’ series in 2011.

For more information, please contact .

Ethical Issues in Immunisation

26 March 2012, 10 am to 5 pm; Darlington Centre, University of Sydney

This seminar will address the major ethical issues facing immunisation programs in Australia today. It asks:

  • What level of vaccine risk is acceptable and who decides?
  • Is it unethical not to have a no-fault compensation scheme for serious adverse events attributed to vaccination?
  • How far can we go in getting people to be vaccinated?
  • Is the current system for funding vaccines in Australia sufficient?
  • How can vaccine programs incorporate public values?

Speakers and chairs include: Marie Bismark, Stacy Carter, Andrea Forde, Claire Hooker, David Issacs, Heath Kelly, Ian Kerridge, Julie Leask, Kristine Macartney, Roger Magnusson, Helen Marshall, Peter Massey, Terry Nolan, Cameron Stewart, Glenn Salkeld

Regular Events


Conversation is a weekly seminar series that encourages Velimers to discuss aspects of their research work in a collegial manner. In 2012 VELiM conversations are held on Thursdays 12:00-1:00pm at VELiM, Medical Foundation Building, 92-94 Parramatta Road, Camperdown. VELiM staff and students as well as visiting fellows and associates participate in and present their work during these conversations. If you would like to attend a conversation relevant to your area of interest please contact for details of upcoming presentations.

Biopolitics of Science Seminar Series

The social study of Science and Medicine is a rapidly growing area, both in Australia and internationally. Interest in the field is driven by the perception that technological progress often outstrips the social capacity to assess risk, develop governance and safely embed scientific innovations. Moreover, developments in the sciences are frequently provocations to the categories and assumptions of social science and the humanities – to the distinction between nature and society, technology and culture, and to our understandings of the origins, meanings, ends and value of human life. The Biopolitics of Science Research Network hosts a series of seminars that address these concerns.

For further information about the Biopolitics of Science Network, email Network Director .

For the seminar series program for Semester 1, 2012, please click here.

For the seminar series program for Semester 2, 2012, please click here.