Conference: Bioethics in Theory – Bioethics in Practice

21 June 2016

Wednesday 31st August – Thursday 1st September 2016, University of Bristol.

This year’s Postgraduate Bioethics Conference is on the theme “Bioethics in Theory: Bioethics in Practice”.  We will be celebrating the 10th iteration of this annual conference and the 20th anniversary of the host organisation, The University of Bristol’s Centre for Ethics in Medicine.

If you wish to attend this years conference then please complete the PGBC 2016 Registration Form and email it to Please send in your registration forms by the 8th July as spaces are limited.

We are pleased to announce that we can offer free accommodation for all for the night of Wednesday 31st August at Wills Hall, University of Bristol, our venue for day one of the conference. Lunch and refreshment will also be provided.

To celebrate the 10th iteration of the PBGC and the 20th anniversary of the University of Bristol’s Centre for Ethics in Medicine, there will be a complementary networking dinner on the evening of Wednesday 31st August, please let us know on the registration form if you wish to attend, have any dietary requirements or allergies.

Call for Abstracts

Please complete the Abstract Submission Form if you would like to be considered to present. Presentations will be limited 10 minutes with 10 minutes for questions. The deadline for submission is the 8th July, please email completed forms to – and we will endeavour to tell you if you have been successful by the 29th July.

Three Minute Thesis Competition

If you would like to participate in the Three Minute Thesis Competition please complete the form, available here: PGBC 2016 3MT Submission Form. The competition will be accompanied by drinks and the top three winners will receive a cash prize! The deadline for submission is the 8th July, please email completed forms to – and we will endeavour to tell you if you have been successful by the 29th July.

National and International Bursaries

If you would like the chance to be awarded a bursary for assistance to attend the conference then please complete the PGBC 2016 Bursary Application Form. For national applicants £100 will be available and £200 for international applicants. The deadline for submission is the 8th July, please email completed forms to – and we will endeavour to tell you if you have been successful by the 29th July.

Funding: MRes on bio-threats and veterinarian research

20 June 2016

Deadline for applications is Sunday 17th July 2016.  

Royal Veterinary College, University of London.

A fully-funded (stipend and fees with allocated research costs) MRes position is available to investigate the professional role of a veterinarian in education and detection of Dual-Use Research Concerns.

The Dual-Use Research Concern (DURC) arises when scientific research that is intended to be utilized for a beneficial purpose either is, or has the potential to be, repurposed for malevolent uses, such as the development of bio-weapons.  Many approaches have been implemented, or proposed, to limit potential harm from the DURC or from other bio-threats by imposing national policies, editorial journal review policies and ethical training for bio-scientists. The UK, under the A(SP)A, prohibits testing offensive biological weapons, but such legislation is not internationally adopted, consequently it may become the role of regional ethics committees to detect the potential threats associated with DURC.  Concern is raised over the capacity of these committees to accurately detect DURC or other bio-security concerns.  Consequently a concern relating to DURC, or other bio-threat developments, is that such research may not be detected by ethics committees but instead may be inadvertently be detected in wild or farmed animals through secondary/accidental exposure.

Detection of unexpected or unusual disease in these animals this may serve as an early indicator of bio-weapon development, biological threats or unanticipated DURC.  The detection of these indicators may rely on appropriate education and awareness of veterinary professionals of the DURC and bio-threats and thus knowledge of the DURC may be in an important component of veterinary education.  Importantly, notions of professionalism, responsibility and accountability have been identified as key criteria for physicians which may equally apply to veterinarians when faced with bioweapon detection or potential DURC.  As yet the role of the veterinarian in bio-threat reduction remains undetermined.

This project aims to determine the role of the veterinary professional in detection and education of the DURC in both the UK and in Jordan as key case examples.

The specific objectives of this project are:

  • To describe the literature regarding the role of the veterinarian in DURC and bio-threat discovery.
  • To thematically analyse the regulatory frameworks for veterinarians internationally, to determine objectives that promote professional obligations in the DURC detection.
  • To develop an educational framework to promote the knowledge-base of veterinarians in the UK and Jordan, inline with the FVE, of the DURC and of bio-threat detection.

As part of the RVC JUST Twinning programme, the student will be expected to interact with professionals in Jordan to facilitate this study.

Eligibility – you need to meet our MRes eligibility requirementsHOWEVER, FOR THIS PROJECT YOU DO NOT NEED A VETERINARY, SCIENCE OR MEDICAL DEGREE.  A SOCIAL SCIENCE, LAW OR PHILOSOPHY DEGREE WILL ALSO BE ELIGIBLE.  A knowledge of professional codes of conduct, professional education, biological research environments or ability to communicate with diverse stakeholders is desired.

The studentships are full-time for 12 months commencing on 3rd October 2016

Travel – As part of the programme students may be expected to travel to Jordan.

Who Can Apply – these studentships  are open to Home/EU students only

How to Apply – information on how to apply can be found here

Supervisors: Dr Martin Whiting and Dr Siobhan Abeyesinghe


About the project – 

About the application process –


Update: Nuffield Council on Bioethics

6 June 2016

Non-invasive prenatal testing – genome editing policy and regulation – artificial gametes – dual use in biology and biomedicine – longevity – children and clinical research.

Extracts from the Council’s June 2016 newsletter:

The Council is seeking input from a wide range of people and organisations to inform its current project exploring the ethical issues raised by recent and potential future developments in non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT). The closing date for responses is 25 July 2016.

The Council and Sciencewise have co-hosted a workshop to discuss the possibilities and limitations of public dialogue for genome editing policy and regulation.The workshop, held in March, focussed on identifying policy issues relating to genome editing that are likely to raise public interest and concern, and ways in which hearing from the public might contribute to understanding the societal implications of the technologies. A report has now been published that summarises the discussion and suggested next steps – download the report Public dialogue on genome editing: Why? When? Who?

A summary of the 2016 Forward Look meeting has now been published on the Council’s website. The meeting took place over two days, with three possible future work topics discussed on the first day. Background papers on each of these topics had been commissioned in advance of the meeting to inform the discussions.

On 22 April the Council hosted a meeting to explore collaboration between life-sciences industry and young people to improve research. The Council recommended in its report Children and clinical research: ethical issues that industry partners should contribute financially to the running costs of initiatives that facilitate involvement, such as the network of Young Persons’ Advisory Groups. This meeting aimed to explore the benefits of young people’s involvement in the wider research agenda, the challenges to achieving such involvement, and possible ways to tackle those challenges. A number of suggestions for future action were put forward, including the development of a ‘statement of aspiration’, to which individuals or organisations could sign up, which could then inform the development of a position paper setting out guidance on good practice and showcasing what young people can contribute. Download a note of the meeting.

Sign up for the Council’s newsletters in full here.



Job: Temporary researcher

6 June 2016

Opportunity for a temporary researcher

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 4 July.

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics is looking to recruit a short term researcher to work on updating our future work list.  The position may involve other tasks, including supporting other ongoing projects, such as the work on genome editing.

The position would suit an individual with interest and expertise in ethical, legal and social issues raised by developments in biological sciences and medicine. The researcher would gain experience from working in an organisation that seeks to play a role in contributing to policy-making and stimulating debate in bioethics.

Download the application pack for more information about the position and how to apply.

If you have any questions about this post, please email or call 0207 681 9619.

Job: Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Bioethics and/or Moral Psychology

6 June 2016

CAPPE, Charles Sturt University, Australia.

Full Time, Fixed Term (12 months)

Level A – $79,148 to $84,959 p.a. (Plus 9.5% Superannuation), Canberra.

Applications close: 19 June 2016

The Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE),, is an Australian Research Council Special Research Centre. CAPPE commenced operations in 2000 and is home to a large concentration of applied philosophers across its nodes at Charles Sturt University and the University of Melbourne. Its purpose is to connect rigorous philosophical thinking with policy input, community discussion and professional aims. CAPPE aims to produce high quality research in a range of areas of applied philosophy and public ethics and also to assist public bodies and members of the community to make more ethically informed choices.

CAPPE seeks to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Fellow who will assist with the delivery of Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP150102068 “Conscience and conscientious objection in health care”. This will involve collaboration with other project researchers to produce scholarly papers on topics relevant to the project, and the organisation of conferences and workshops.

The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will be expected to publish high quality research in applied philosophy at international level; initiate or collaborate in applications for competitive external research funding; contribute to postgraduate supervision; and otherwise make a significant contribution to CAPPE’s research activities and environment Applications are invited from candidates with research expertise in bioethics and/or moral psychology, who have a demonstrated ability to publish at an international level in either or both of these fields. The ideal candidate will have a doctoral qualification either in philosophy or in a cognate discipline, with a strongly philosophical component; publications commensurate with his/her stage of academic career and relative to opportunity; and the capacity to make a significant contribution to CAPPE’s research activities and profile.

Applicants are expected to apply online (
They should address the selection criteria listed in the position description.

Further information is available from Steve Clarke: Email:<> Phone: +61404002488

Seminar: Medical Supply Chains & Workers’ Rights

3 June 2016

2.30pm 10th June 2016. 

Room 4.63, Franklin-Wilkins Building, 150 Stamford Street, King’s College London, London SE1 9NH – View Map

Speaker:  Katherine Moloney, Acadia University, Canada.

Introduced by:  Angus Dawson, University of Sydney, Australia.


When the doctor comes in wearing a crisp white lab coat, when the dentist snaps on the latex gloves or when the surgeon splits open the sterile procedure pack … do you ever wonder who made these medical goods – or, under what conditions?

Many of the goods used daily in our hospitals, clinics and aged care services are made using exploited adult and child labour. Goods as diverse as gloves and gauze, scalpels and staff uniforms are marred by labour rights abuses. This is a significant problem with global reach.

This seminar will take an honest look at the problem and, importantly, it will also consider what can and is being done to address it. You will hear about opportunities being embraced by public procurers in Europe. You will also hear of persistent obstacles being encountered as well as potential solutions from other sectors. And, interspersed throughout, you will hear from those throughout the medical goods supply chain voice their perspective on the way forward.


Katherine Moloney is completing a doctoral thesis on human rights due diligence in global medical goods supply chains at Acadia University, Canada. Her project seeks to adopt a multi-faceted approach of top-down engagement and bottom up empowerment. She chairs the Healthy Supply Chains Initiative for health supplies in Australia and is liaising with the International Labour Organization and the UN Initiative on Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector.

Angus Dawson is Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Centre for Values, Ethics & the Law in Medicine at the University fo Sydney, Australia. He is the joint editor in chief of the journal Public Health Ethics and is one of the editors of the recently released open access international public health ethics case book:


Seminar: Prenatal testing and the apparatus of choice

3 June 2016

BIOS+ Research Seminar

“Prenatal testing and the apparatus of choice

Tuesday June 21st 2016 at 4 pm, in room S0.03 (King’s College London, Strand Campus)

Catherine Mills from Monash University, who will give a talk titled “Prenatal testing and the apparatus of choice”. The talk will be chaired by Giulia Cavaliere, Wellcome Trust PhD Fellow at SSHM.

Catherine Mills is an Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow in the  Centre for Human Bioethics at Monash University. The Future Fellowship is a very prestigious fellowship awarded by the Australian Research Council  to work a project on reproductive responsibility, from 2013 to 2018. Catherine Mills has published widely in the ethics of reproduction. Her most recent book “Futures of Reproduction: Bioethics and Biopolitics” was reviewed by Dr Silvia Camporesi here. For a full list of her publications see here.

For inquiries contact Giulia Cavaliere:


In many liberal democracies, the moral principle of reproductive liberty or choice has an unchallenged ascendency in the management of reproduction, including in regard to prenatal testing and selective termination. This paper proposes the notion of an “apparatus of choice” at work in pregnancy care and prenatal testing regimes in order to examine the effects of the principle of reproductive liberty. Drawing on qualitative data on obstetric ultrasound screening in Australia, I show that notions of choice are deployed in various ways, and in the process, do various things. In particular, within the clinical encounter, the apparatus of choice positions pregnant women as the principal moral agents in prenatal testing regimes, and the foetus as a kind of moral boundary object, while deflecting attention from the ethical involvement of clinical practitioners. Furthermore, considered in a broader context, the apparatus of choice intersects with processes of medical normalisation in prenatal care in complex ways, especially evident in discussions of termination of pregnancy on the basis of foetal abnormalities. I argue that it obfuscates the ways that social norms and other socio-economic conditions shape which decisions appear as possible and which do not. In this way, the apparatus of choice operates differentially to reinforce social inequalities in regards to both pregnancy and the medical institutions that strive to manage it. It also leaves unquestioned discriminatory attitudes and norms that restrict the range of bodies that appear as livable in the social field. In light of these problems, I conclude by briefly considering alternatives to the apparatus of choice in the provision and management of prenatal testing.

For more information about the BIOS+ Research Group contact Dr Christine Aicardi:



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