Welcome to the Monash Bioethics Centre

Thank you for visiting the Monash Bioethics Centre.

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 Bioethics Centre (formerly known as the 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.


  • Professor Michael Selgelid is the Director of the Monash Bioethics Centre (formerly named Centre for Human Bioethics), and he also regularly provides expert advice to a number of international bodies, including the World Health Organization (WHO). Last year, Professor Selgelid was commissioned to write a White Paper for the US Government on the ethics of ... Read more
  •   Congratulations to Associate Professor Catherine Mills and Professor Robert Sparrow who, along with colleagues Dr Karinne Ludlow and Dr Narelle Warren, have been awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project (round 2017) grant valued at $215,000 for research on “Legal and Ethical Issues in the Inheritable Genetic Modification of Humans”. Project summary:  “This project aims ... Read more
  •   In 2015 Professor Michael Selgelid was commissioned by the US National Institutes of Health to complete a White Paper providing ethical analysis of “Gain-of-Function” Research. Gain-of-function (GOF) research involves experimentation that increases  the transmissibility and/or virulence of pathogens.  The ultimate objective of such research is to better inform public health and preparedness efforts and/or development of ... Read more
  • 3MT is an academic competition that sees graduate research students from across Australia and the Asia Pacific compete against each other in a battle to provide the most engaging, inspirational and concise three minute summary of their research. The competition provides current candidates with the opportunity to: develop academic and research communication skills share the important and ... Read more
  • Professor Michael Selgelid has been appointed Chair of the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Bioethics the next two years.   In addition to the WHO Collaborating Centre for Bioethics at Monash, Network members include: Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health, Columbia University, New York Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, Stellenbosch University Joint Center for Bioethics, ... Read more
  •   Congratulations to Dr Ryan Tonkens for his award of a Monash University Faculty of Arts Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, which was announced on 25 November, and awarded on 8 December 2015.     Read more
  •   “Ebola and the Ethics Question” Brad Collis Monash Magazine February 2015 Read article   Read more
  • Monash Bioethics Centre is delighted to present the following public lecture: ‘Why the Ban on Performance Enhancing Drugs is Ruining Sport in Australia’   Speaker: Professor Julian Savulescu Date: Thursday 18 September, 6pm-7.30pm Venue: Deakin Edge Theatre, Federation Square, City Click here for further details.   Play a recording of the lecture:   Read more
  • On 21 July 2014, the Monash Bioethics Centre was officially designated as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Bioethics, with Michael Selgelid as Director.  This makes it one of 6 such centres worldwide—and part of a Global Network of such centres, with partners at University of Toronto, Columbia University, University of Miami, University ... Read more
  • Congratulations to  Julian Koplin for  his Teaching and Learning Award of Dean’s Sessional Commendation for  his tutoring in ATS2637 (The Human Body and the International Marketplace) during first semester of 2014.  Julian is a PhD student in the Centre for Human Bioethics, with a project focused on ethical issues associated with the selling of human organs. Read more
  •     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, Monash Bioethics Centre)   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 Quigley ... 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 the Monash Bioethics Centre 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 Oct, 5:30 – 6:30 ... 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 Bioethics Centre 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 to Oxford ... 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 Monash Bioethics Centre 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 (SOPHIS) ... 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 Monash Bioethics Centre 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 he ... 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