2015 News & Events

International Conference on the Politics and Ethics of Infection

PEI 2015 logo

Date: 10-13 December 2015
Venue: The University of Sydney, venue TBA

The Politics and Ethics of Infection Node within the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity will be hosting an international conference on the Politics and Ethics of Infection from 10 to 13 December 2015, at the University of Sydney. A call for papers will be issued shortly.
Researchers from all disciplines with an interest in the ethics and politics of intensification, resistance, surveillance, communication, migration and movement, research and one health/ecology in relation to infectious disease, are encouraged to participate.

Contact: , ph: +61 2 9036 3413 (Tue-Thu)
Conference website available soon.

2014 News & Events

Ethics and Regulation of Synthetic Biology Workshop, 10 Dec 2014

Date: Wednesday 10 December 2014, 9.30am - 5pm
Venue: Trinity Chapel, Robert Menzies College, North Ryde

The workshop will be opened by Chief Scientist, Mary O'Kane; speakers include guests from the University of Edinburgh, John Hopkins (pre-recorded - live Q & A), University of Sydney, University of Tasmania and Macquarie University. Full Program


NHMRC Grant Success, 17 October 2014

Three VELiMers won new NH&MRC project grants commencing in 2015:

Chris Degeling will be leading a $565,106 project grant entitled Can One Health strategies be more effectively implemented through prior identification of public values?
Wendy Lipworth will be leading a $549,492 project grant entitled Improving decisions about the funding of high cost cancer medicines in Australia
Ian Kerridge will be leading a $763,644 project grant entitled Biobank Networks, Medical Research and the Challenge of Globalisation

Grant details


In September 2014, the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity has formally approved a Node in the Politics and Ethics of Infection. Led by Dr Claire Hooker, VELiM, this Node is composed of scholars already working across these issues in areas such as tuberculosis, hospital acquired infections, influenza, vaccination, antibiotic resistance, zoonoses and one health. Our aim is to create a vibrant academic community with shared interests in the politics and ethics of infection - across a broad spectrum, and with interdisciplinary perspectives.

If you are interested in our work in these areas, you are warmly invited to join the Node or meet with its members. The Node meets fortnightly on Tuesdays at 9.30 at the Centre for Values, Ethics and Law in Medicine, K25 Medical Foundation Building.

Please contact , ph: +61 2 9036 3413 (Tue-Thu)

Professor Miles Little receives AO, 9 June 2014

Congratulations to Emeritus Professor John Miles LITTLE, founder and Founding Director of the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (1996-2003), who has been awarded an AO, Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia for his distinguished services to medicine through the development and promotion of public policy on medical values, ethics and law.

Science or Compassion? - Lunchtime Webinar, 5 June 2014

An event organised by the Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney as part of the 2014 lunchtime webinar series Careers That Make a Difference.

Date: Thursday 5 June 1:00–1:30pm
Venue: Online or New Law School Annexe SR 342, The University of Sydney

Dr Claire Hooker, Senior Lecturer, Medical Humanities, at the Centre for Values, Ethics & Law in Medicine (VELIM) explores the tension in health care between science and compassion. Modern healthcare is increasingly incorporating amazing new biological discoveries which are dramatically changing patient outcomes. In this talk Dr Hooker looks at the other side. She discusses how and why attention to the existential, emotional and unique qualities of health and illness have such a huge impact on patients. She examines the friction between the technical/analytical skills which are at the basis of contemporary healthcare, with the emotional/relational skills required to provide compassionate health and medical care. And finally how the empathy and validation sought by patients at vulnerable times in their lives, weighs up against the emotional demands these make of clinicians.

Intensive Research Ethics Retreat, 1-5 June 2014

Jointly run by the Centre for Ethics in Medicine and Society (CEMS), Monash University, and the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (VELiM), Sydney University

Location: Peppers Craigieburn, Bowral NSW
Organising Committee: Porf Paul Komesaroff, Prof Colin Thomson, Dr Kandy White and A/Prof Ian Kerridge

This intensive course is designed to assist researchers, ethics committee members and others involved in the conduct and assessment of research to understand and clarify the issues arising in relation to research of all kinds involving human participants. It will provide an opportunity for members of research and research ethics communities to come together to discuss the issues they face and share their experiences.
The course aims to give registrants an appreciation of the philosophical and ethical issues underlying research involving human participants, an understanding of the issues relating to different research methodologies and research involving special populations.
The program will be interactive and will include small group discussions and workshops. There will be ample provision for free time to encourage further discussion and debate among participants.

Further information: 2014 IREC Brochure

Ongoing events

The Conversation

The Conversation is a weekly seminar series that encourages VELiMers to discuss aspects of their research work in a collegial manner. 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 the Centre Administrator for a schedule of upcoming presentations.

Dates: Thursdays, 12 - 1pm
Venue: VELiM, Medical Foundation Building, 92-94 Parramatta Road, Camperdown

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 visit the Biopolitics of Science website or email the Network Director .