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Public health, security and ethics


The Universities of Warwick and Monash have awarded Alliance seed funding for a collaboration between IERG and the Centre for Human Bioethics research (CHB), paying for two meetings identifying future lines of collaboration in security ethics and public health ethics. These meetings will prepare the ground for long-term funded research collaboration between IERG and the CHB. The Principal Investigators are Tom Sorell and Michael Selgelid, who are co-appointed to both Universities.

The Centre for Human Bioethics (CHB) was established by Professor Peter Singer in 1980 as Australia’s first research centre devoted to bioethics, and it has long been recognised as one of the world’s leading centres of its kind. IERG and CHB have uniquely overlapping research expertise in security ethics and public health ethics.

Topics in this area include:

  • the ethical management of pandemics and pandemic risks
  • the conduct of vaccination programmes, especially where these meet public resistance; q
    uarantining protocols
  • public health surveillance, including possibly intrusive surveillance of behaviour with public health risks (e.g. AIDs, obesity)
  • bioterrorism
  • ethics of government co-ordinated emergency-response (e.g. flood, fire earthquake) where this has public health aspects
  • the ethics of medical transparency

The Monash event was held at their university facilities in Prato, Italy in June 2015, hosting a meeting of the Global Network of World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Bioethics. The meeting discussed current network activities on surveillance, implementation of health systems research and tuberculosis, and possible future projects on nutrition, epidemics and e-health.

The Warwick event will take place on the main campus in November 2015. It will cover three main topics: Big Data, Health Security and Emergency Response.