John Harris’ Seminar Wednesday June 5th 12 pm “Xenia: Refugees, Displaced Persons and Reciprocity”

Don’t miss this talk on Wednesday!


john harris

Professor John Harris, visiting Professor for the Bioethics & Society MSc

Visiting Professor John Harris will give a very timely paper given the rough geopolitical times we are living in:


“Xenia: Refugees, Displaced Persons and Reciprocity”
When: Wednesday 5 June 2019, 
12:00 to 13:30

Where: Room S0.11 Strand Campus


This talk is a small part of a book project tentatively called: “Where do I belong? Where does this belong?” and will deal with nationality, migration and displaced persons and things.

In this particular instantiation, I will ask the following question and give, I hope, some ideas which provide a solution. What has happened to our culture today that strangers to our shores are not welcomed, not given the protection of our laws and the warmth of our hospitality? What has happened to civilization? Refugees, displaced persons and desperate would-be migrants are treated as creatures of no consequence, no interests and no rights?


Odysseus of Ithaca

Britain, a nation built on migration: Celts, Saxons, Romans, Danes, Normans, Huguenots, Jews, West Indians, Asians from India, Pakistan, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Singapore, and so many others; has turned its back on contemporary strangers and on ancient values. To understand this tragedy, and both the origins and possible solutions to its disastrous effects, we need to start in the bronze age, nearly three thousand years ago, with one of the most complex and human of humans ever imagined, Odysseus of Ithaca.

This seminar is open to all – NO NEED TO REGISTER – just show up!

About Professor John Harris

John Harris is Visiting Professor in Bioethics in the department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s College London, where he teaches in the MSc in Bioethics & Society.

Educated at the University of Kent and at Balliol College, Oxford, Prof John Harris is the author or editor of twenty-one books and over three hundred peer-reviewed articles.

From March 2004 to July 2011 John was the joint Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Medical Ethics, the leading journal in medical and applied ethics. John has also served on many advisory bodies, including as a member of the United Kingdom Human Genetics Commission (HGC) from itjohn-harris-value-lifes foundation in 1999 until 2010 and as a member of The Ethics Committee of the British Medical Association for more than fifteen years. In 1986 John jointly founded (with Margaret Brazier) the Centre for Social Ethics and Policy of the University of Manchester, one of two leading centres in bioethics in the UK (the other being the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law at King’s), as described by historian Duncan Wilson in his 2015 book, The Making of British Bioethics.

John has, throughout his career, defended broadly libertarian – consequentialist approaches to issues in bioethics. This has made him a leading defender of the rights of the individual to access medical technology and to benefit from medical services. He has defended the individual’s entitlement to these goods and services regardless of age, life expectancy, level of9780198707592 disability, quality of life or genetic pre-disposition to illness. He has been and remains a leading critic of paternalistic or restrictive approaches to regulation or legislation of access to medical services or technology.

Some of John’s papers and books have become seminal to the bioethics canon, i.e. “The Survival Lottery” (1975), The Value of Life (1985) (John is now working on The Value of Life 2), Wonderwoman and Superman (1992) and Enhancing Evolution (OUP 2007). His most recent book, How to be Good, was published by Oxford University Press, Oxford in 2016 and is poised to take its place right alongside his other groundbreaking works.

John has made many appearances in the media over his career, helping to shape public discourse around challenging bioethical topics. In 2017 he was appointed visiting Professor in Bioethics in the department of global health & social medicine, where he contributes to the teaching of the MSc in Bioethics & Society.

Applications for the Bioethics & Society Postgraduate Programme for entry September 2019 are open. For inquiries contact the MSc Programme Director Dr Silvia Camporesi:

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Congratulations to Llona Kavege recipient of the 2019/20 GHSM Postgraduate Scholarship!

Profile Llona

Llona Kavege, recipient of 2019/20 GHSM postgraduate scholarship

We are delighted to announce the recipient of the 2019/20 Global Health & Social Medicine Postgraduate Scholarship.

Llona graduated from Barry University, Miami, FL, at a Stamps Scholar with a double major in Biology and Philosophy. While an undergraduate, she joined the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement programme in 2017 and worked as a research assistant in a cell signalling cancer biology laboratory, and as Amgen Scholars summer intern in an infectious disease laboratory at the Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine. She has pursued her passion for bioethics by participating in Barry’s Ethics Bowl team for four consecutive years. With the team she has competed in two national championships, and placed as national semi-finalists in 2017, and southeast regional finalist in 2018. Furthermore, Llona has interned at the National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine Centre for Biomedical Ethics where she undertook a project on the role and approach of transplant ethics committees in the assessment of living organ donors under the mentorship of Dr. Voo Teck Chuan. She later presented this project at her university’s annual STEM symposium poster competition and was awarded first place in her division. Llona has also served as University Sacristan for the department of Campus Ministry, and has nourished her passion to empower youth through education by serving as a tutor for children from underserved communities. She spent her first two summers of undergrad as a teaching fellow for Breakthrough college-bound, and the EXPLO summer enrichment programme where she taught courses in biology, cultural awareness, and ethics. Llona recently graduated Summa Cum Laude, and was awarded the Outstanding Biology Major Award, the Dean’s Award in Mathematics and Sciences, and the St. Catherine’s Medal for leadership and service.

About the scholarship:

GHSM awards one Postgraduate Scholarship a year covering full home fees for a total of £ 9,000. All candidates who have applied by March 31st in a given year for any of our Master’s programmes are eligible for the scholarship. No separate application is needed to be considered eligible for the GHSM Postgraduate Scholarship, and both home/EU and overseas candidates will be considered (however please note that the scholarship covers only home fees).

You can find more info about our Master’s programmes here:

and about the GHSM Postgraduate scholarship here:


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Event May 22nd: “The Ethics and Practice of Disinvestment: On Knowing What Not to Do in Health and Social Care”

We are delighted to announce a forthcoming event titled “The Ethics and Practice of Disinvestment:  On Knowing What Not to Do in Health and Social Care” .

 When: Wednesday May 22nd, 2019, 10:00-18:30.

 Where: Anatomy Museum, King’s Building, Strand Campus, King’s College London, London WC2R 2LS. Directions: The Anatomy Museum is located on Level 6 of the King’s Building. Access to the King’s Building is via the main entrance on the Strand. Please note: The Anatomy Museum is a different room from the Anatomy Lecture Theatre (also on the 6th floor, right next to the Anatomy Museum).

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Book Launch Event – Synthesizing Hope by Anne Pollock – Tuesday 28th May

Tuesday 28th May, 4pm
Anatomy Museum, King’s College London
6th Floor, King’s Building, Strand Campus, The Strand, London, WC2R 2LS

All are welcome for the London Book Launch of Synthesizing Hope: Matter, Knowledge, and Place in South African Drug Discovery, released this month by the University of Chicago Press.  The event will be chaired by Professor Nikolas Rose, and will feature comments by Jenny Reardon, Jarita Holbrook, Ann Kelly, and the author.  The audience will be encouraged to join in the discussion, and to continue the conversation over drinks and nibbles.

Anne Pollock (Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London)

Nikolas Rose (Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London)

Jenny Reardon (Sociology, University of California-Santa Cruz)
Jarita Holbrook (Physics, University of the Western Cape)
Ann Kelly (Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London)

Synthesizing Hope opens up the material and social world of pharmaceuticals by focusing on an unexpected place: iThemba Pharmaceuticals. Founded in 2009 with a name taken from the Zulu word for hope, the small South African startup with an elite international scientific board was tasked with drug discovery for tuberculosis, HIV, and malaria. Anne Pollock uses this company as an entry point for exploring how the location of scientific knowledge production matters, not only for the raw materials, manufacture, licensing, and distribution of pharmaceuticals but also for the making of basic scientific knowledge.  Consideration of this case exposes the limitations of global health frameworks that implicitly posit rich countries as the only sites of knowledge production. Analysis of iThemba identifies the problems inherent in global north/south divides at the same time as it highlights what is at stake in who makes knowledge and where. It also provides a concrete example for consideration of the contexts and practices of postcolonial science, its constraints, and its promise.  Synthesizing Hopeexplores the many legacies that create conditions of possibility for South African drug discovery, especially the specific form of settler colonialism characterized by apartheid and resource extraction. Paying attention to the infrastructures and laboratory processes of drug discovery underscores the materiality of pharmaceuticals from the perspective of their makers, and tracing the intellectual and material infrastructures of South African drug discovery contributes new insights about larger social, political, and economic orders.

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