Interview: Collective responsibility for antibiotic resistance

Recently our own Associate Professor Mark Davis sat down with the School of Media, Film and Journalism to discuss a new ARC Discovery Project on antimicrobial resistance. Associate Professor Davis leads an international team researching publics, media and communications on antibiotic resistance.

Listen to the interview here.


Biomedical Futures Symposium

Professor Alan Petersen and Research Fellow John Gardner will be among the presenters at UNSW Law School in Sydney on 17-18 August. This symposium is designed to consider the social, economic, and ethical dimensions of precision medicine, the envisaged transformation in the nature of the contemporary patient experience and the broader implications of precision medicine for issues related to health justice, distinctions between sick and well, empowerment, illness classification and population segmentation.

Papers include:

  • Sociologies of Precision Medicine – Alan Petersen
  • Imaginaries of health and wealth: Accelerating innovation of advanced medicines in the UK – John Gardner

Abstracts, info and Tickets here


Valuing Donations – Public Talk

On Thursday June 8, Monash Anthropology held its annual public talk at the State Library of Victoria. This year’s talk focused on the topic of live tissue donation and saw six speakers address a range of practical, ethical, financial and regulatory aspects of the topic. Speakers were invited to discuss their area of expertise and scope of their affiliate organisation as well as pose and answer questions regarding the growth of tissue donation and biobanking. In particular the speakers were asked to address the concept of the ‘value’ of donation and how live tissue donors might be better ‘valued’ in future engagements.

Iolanda Rodino, Chair of the Counselling Committee with the Reproductive Technology Council of Perth, discussed some of the ethical and legal aspects of sperm, egg and embryo donation and surrogacy from a Western Australian context.

Professor Jenni Millbank, Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), raised some interesting questions and thoughts around donor tissue self-sufficiency and a holistic view of the donor body.

Dr Katherine Carroll, Research Fellow at the Australian National University College of Arts and Social Sciences, discussed her work on milk banks – a form of biobanking which stores breast milk for supply to hospitals.

Associate Professor David Ranson, Medical Director of the Donor Tissue Bank of Victoria, discussed the statutory and practical aspects of the work of his affiliate organisation.

Susan Ireland, Manager of Blood, Organ and Tissue Programs at the South Australian Department of Health and Ageing, presented an interesting look at the needs and usage of live tissue in Australia.

The final speaker Louise Johnson, CEO of the Victorian Assisted Reproduction Treatment Authority (VARTA), discussed a range of aspects regarding the work of her organisation as well as some of the moral and ethical changes in the assisted reproduction landscape.

Monash Anthropology and the Health and Biofutures Focus Program would like to thank the speakers for their time, as well as all those that attended the event.


Stem Cell Tourism on Life Matters (Radio National)

Professor Alan Petersen and Associate Professor Megan Munsie (University of Melbourne) recently appeared on Life Matters (Radio National) to discuss their recent research project on the socio-cultural dynamics of stem cell tourism, particularly the factors shaping Australians’ views and expectations of stem cell treatments offered abroad. 

Listen to the podcast here.


Call for research participants

A study of men’s fatherhood aspirations, expectations, and outcomes

We are looking for men aged 20 to 45 years living in Australia to take part in a survey about why men have and don’t have children. 

This research is being conducted by Dr Karin Hammaerberg, Associate Professor Catherine Mills and Dr Sara Holton from Monash University.

For more information click here.


18 April 2016 – Book Launch

Monash Health and Biofutures Focus Program invite you to join the authors Alan Petersen, Megan Munsie, Claire Tanner, Casimir McGregor and Jane Brophy, and their guests in celebrating the launch of Stem Cell Tourism and the Political Economy of Hope. The event will be launched by Professor Jane Kaye of the University of Melbourne.

Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre, 251 Faraday Street, Carlton, 18 April, 5:30-7pm

RSVP to by April 14th.

Book launch flyer


11 April 2017 – Seminar

Can and should ageing be ‘treated’?: Making sense of the rise of the anti-ageing treatment market

Join Professor Alan Peterson for his upcoming National Ageing Research Institute Weekly Seminar.

The recent rapid growth of the market of ‘anti-ageing treatments’ raises a host of questions for those concerned with the health and welfare of older people. These include: what does it mean to ‘treat’ ageing? If ageing can be ‘treated’, should it—and if not, why not? What can and should be done about regulating the marketing of such products?

This paper will examine some of the ‘anti-ageing treatments’ currently advertised, including diets (superfoods), cosmetics (e.g. cellulite, botox), hormones and regenerative (stem cell) therapies. It will critically scrutinize advertised claims regarding the potential to prevent, delay, reverse or mask the effects of ageing, drawing attention to the frequent absence of evidence for the efficacy, safety and quality of ‘treatments’. It will also discuss the context for the emergence of this market and the implications for how ageing is viewed. The anti-ageing treatment market, it is argued, reflects and reinforces ageism and the commodification of ageing. Products are advertised for what they promise rather than for what they can demonstrably deliver, exploiting the anxieties that surround ageing and self-responsibility for health.

NARI Seminar Room, Building 9, 34-54 Poplar Road, Parkville, 12pm – 1pm Tuesday 11 April 2017

NARI talk