Welcome to Centre for Human Bioethics

Thank you for visiting Monash University Centre for Human Bioethics.

You will here find information about the Centre’s staff, their research activities, our postgraduate degree programs, and our undergraduate units.

Our annual Intensive Bioethics Course attracts visitors from around Australia and many other countries, such as New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Japan, China, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Africa. For more about bioethics and the Centre’s work, see this interview with Assoc. Prof. Justin Oakley.

In July 2014, the Monash Centre for Human Bioethics was officially designated as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Bioethics.

In addition to special events, we hold a weekly seminar series with the Philosophy department.


  •     Friday, 21 February 2014 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.   Room G04, Building 55 (Gallery Building), Clayton Campus, Monash University For map see:  http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/maps/3-Claytoncolour.pdf   Program: Chaired by Prof. Michael Selgelid (Director, Centre for Human Bioethics)   1:00-1:50 Dr Tom Douglas (University of Oxford) “Scientific Isolationism and the Division of Moral Labour”   1:55-2:45 Dr Nicholas Evans (Charles Sturt University) “Dual Use Potential and the Importance of Institutional Capacity”   2:45-3:15 Tea/coffee break   3:15-4:05 Dr Muireann ... Read more
  •       Monash University has recently signed a contract with Springer to take over publication of Monash Bioethics Review starting in 2014.  This exciting development will significantly enhance the international profile of the journal, which will become much more widely available online—e.g., to a vast number of universities around the world.  Further, Springer subscribers will have ... Read more
  • On The Dual Uses of Science and Ethics:  Principles, Practices, and Prospects.  Co-edited by Brian Rappert and Michael J. Selgelid.  Canberra:  ANU E Press, 2013. This volume is open access, freely available online here.   Read more
  •   “Controversial Questions about Life” Julia Hinde 25 October 2013 The Age Click here to read article       Read more
  • Monash Health Translation Precinct in conjunction with Monash Health’s Clinical Ethics Committee and Monash University’s Centre for Human Bioethics are delighted to present the following lecture: “The Futility of Futility: The challenges of treating critically ill newborns and children and sharing reflections on the Ashley Treatment case almost a decade later”   Speaker:  Professor Julian Savulescu Date: Thursday 3 ... Read more
  • Multidisciplinary symposium ● 9.00am–5.00pm Thursday July 18, 2013 ● Monash Conference Centre Level 7, 30 Collins Street, Melbourne Only the US and New Zealand allow direct to consumer advertising of prescription pharmaceuticals (DTCA). Supporters argue DTCA is an extension of free speech and creates awareness of medical treatments. Opponents say DTCA misleads and frustrates effective ... Read more
  •     We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ryan Tonkens to a 3 year position as Lecturer, starting 1 July 2013. Ryan’s current research interests lie mostly at the intersection of applied ethics and advances in technology, especially biotechnology (e.g. the ethics of human prenatal genetic alteration), assisted reproductive technologies (e.g. the ethics of embryo ... Read more
  •   “The Faculty offers its congratulations to Dr Catherine Mills on her sustained record of publications and research outcomes as well as winning the 2013 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research by an Early Career Researcher. Congratulations also to Adam Clulow who has been highly commended. Dr Mills graduated with a PhD in the discipline of Philosophy ... Read more
  • Public Lecture   Podcast: Listen to / download a recording of the Mind Wars: Brain Science and the Military lecture (mp3 – 97.5 MB)        Mind Wars:  Brain Science and the Military Jonathan D. MorenoLyn Silfen University Professor University of Pennsylvania, USA Thursday 11 April 2013, 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. Monash University Law ChambersMelbourne 3000 Jonathan D. Moreno’s book Mind Wars examines the ethical dilemmas and ... Read more
  • Julian Savulescu and Robert Sparrow debated the ethics of genetic enhancement in “Making Better Babies, Pro and Con“–a public event held by the Monash Centre for Human Bioethics at BMW Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne, on Tues 2 Oct 2012. Listen to / download a recording of the Making Better Babies debate (97Mb mp3)  Read the Transcript Read and/or reply ... Read more
  • In February 2013 Wiley-Blackwell published the much anticipated International Encyclopedia of Ethics, edited by Hugh LaFollette.  As described by Larry S. Temkin, “The International Encyclopedia of Ethics is breathtaking in its ambition and scope. This nine volume masterpiece draws on the expertise of more than 600 authors from 23 countries, to present the most comprehensive reference work ever devoted ... Read more
  • We are happy to welcome Robert Sparrow back to the Centre for Human Bioethics as an Honorary Adjunct Associate Professor.  Rob was previously a regular academic staff member in the Centre from 2004 to 2010.  He is currently an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, primarily based in the School of Philosophical, Historical, and International Studies ... Read more
  • Emergency Ethics.  Volume I of  The Library of Essays on Emergency Ethics, Law and Policy.  Co-edited by A.M. Viens and Michael J. Selgelid.  Farnham, UK:  Ashgate, 2012.  For more details see:  http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&calcTitle=1&forthcoming=1&title_id=11726&edition_id=12095 Read more
  • Ethics and Security Aspects of Infectious Disease Control:  Interdisciplinary Perspectives.  Co-edited by Christian Enemark and Michael J. Selgelid.  Farnham, UK:  Ashgate, 2012.  For more details see:  http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409422532 Read more
  • Centre members summarised their views on the moral status of early human lives in contributions to a Symposium on “after-birth abortion” in a recent Special Issue of Monash Bioethics Review. The Symposium is freely available online. Read more
  • Congratulations to Catherine Mills, who has been awarded a Future Fellowship (valued at $679,000 from 2012 to 2016) from the Australian Research Council for a project on “A new understanding of responsibility in the ethics of human reproduction”.   Read more
  • In July 2012 the Centre appointed Dr Tatjana Višak as a Lecturer under a one-year contract.  Tatjana has been teaching in the Netherlands during the past 12 years.  She completed her PhD at Utrecht University in 2011.  The resulting book Killing Happy Animals: Explorations in Utilitarian Ethics will be published in the Palgrave MacMillan Animal Ethics Series ... Read more
  • Congratulations to the Centre’s ARC Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Paul Biegler for winning the Australasian Association for Philosophy’s Media Prize for 2012. Paul previously also won the 2011 ACU Eureka Prize for Research in Ethics, for his book, The Ethical Treatment of Depression: Autonomy through Psychotherapy (MIT Press, 2011). Read more
  •   In February 2012 A/Prof Justin Oakley stepped down as Director of the Centre for Human Bioethics after 13 years in this role, in order to devote more time to research. The Centre’s new Director is Michael Selgelid. Michael is also Director of a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Bioethics at The Australian National University (where ... Read more
  • In February 2012, the Centre appointed Dr Catherine Mills to a continuing position as Senior Lecturer in Bioethics. Catherine comes to Monash from the University of Sydney Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, and she is a leading international figure in reproductive ethics, feminist philosophy, and biopolitics. Catherine’s most recent book is Futures of ... Read more