And… it’s out! Programme of the 2018 Postgraduate Bioethics Conference hosted by Department of Global Health & Social Medicine July 23rd -24th

We are delighted to announce the programme of the 2018 Postgraduate Bioethics Conference (PGBC), hosted by the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s College London. The event will be held on the 23rd and 24th of July, 2018, at King’s College London’s Strand and Waterloo Campuses .

The PGBC is a two-day annual conference where Master’s and PhD students meet and share their bioethics research, as well as develop relevant skills for their academic and professional careers.

This year, the theme of the conference is Bioethics in the Public Square, focusing on debates within bioethics that extend into matters of political concern. These debates cover a wide range of topics relating to the construction of just societies, the boundaries of our political decisions, and the role bioethicists should play in liberal democracies.


sandraDr med. Sandra Loder started her career as a Medical Officer in the German Navy. After working in a German Military Hospital, abroad in Foreign Deployments, and as a Ship’s Doctor, her time in the Navy ended. Her civilian career continued as a specialist, and later as a consultant, in Anaesthesia, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Therapy. Sandra’s profession ignited her interest in bioethical issues and led to her participation in the Bioethics Master’s Programme at King’s College London. Her current research interests are the ethics of assisted reproduction, ethical approaches that differ among nations and global health ethics.

giuliGiulia Cavaliere is a third-year Wellcome Trust PhD student in Bioethics & Society at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London. Her research focuses on ethical and social questions raised by new reproductive technologies such as mitochondrial replacement techniques. She is particularly interested in eugenics and in how these technologies face us with questions concerning “what sort of people should there be”. Giulia teaches the undergraduate module ‘Ethics of Emerging Technologies’ at KCL and she loves teaching as much as reading moral philosophy.

edgar.jpgEdgar René Ruiz López is currently enrolled as a PhD student at the department of Global Health and Social Medicine of King’s College London. His project, funded by the Mexican National Council on Science and Technology, is on the topic of exploitation in the Mexican surrogacy industry. He is interested in topics related to distributive justice and on the intersection between personal identity and ethics.




09:45 – 10:15



Welcome and Registration

Room: FWB G.73


10:15 – 10:30



Opening: Giulia Cavaliere, Edgar René Ruiz López, Sandra Loder

(King’s College London)

Room: FWB G.73

10:30 – 11:30  

Keynote 1: Expertise in Bioethics: Scope and Challenges

Dr Silvia Camporesi (King’s College London) & Dr Jonathan Ives (University of Bristol)

Chair: Edgar René Ruiz López; Room: FWB G.73


11:30 – 12:00


Coffee Break


12:00 – 13:15



Parallel Sessions 1

(1a, 1b, 1c)


13:15 – 14:15




14:15 – 15:15



Workshop: All you Need to Know/Ever Wanted to Know on Surviving (Early) Career in Academia

Dr Karin Jongsma (University of Utrecht) & Dr César Palacios-González (King’s College London)

Chair: Giulia Cavaliere; Room: FWB G.73


15:30 – 16:20


Parallel Sessions 2 (2a, 2b, 2c)


16:20 – 16:50


Coffee Break


16:50 – 17:50



Keynote 2: On Courageous and Productive Health Ethics

Dr Sridhar Venkatapuram (King’s College London)

Chair: Emma Wynne Bannister; Room: FWB G.79




Dinner (Brasserie Blanc South Bank)




9:15 – 9:30


Coffee and Welcome to Day Two

Room: FWB G.73


9:30 – 10:45


Parallel Sessions 3 (3a, 3b, 3c)


10:45 – 11:15


Coffee Break


11:15 – 12:15


Keynote 3: Science for Policy, Policy for Science? Considerations from an Ethicist-Politician

Professor Annelien Bredenoord (University of Utrecht)

Chair: Georgina Morley; Room: FWB G.79


12:00 – 13:15



Workshop: Publication: Strategy and Tactics

Dr Adrian Blau

Room: FWB G.79


13:15 – 14:15




14:15 – 15:05


Parallel Sessions 4 (4a, 4b, 4c)


15:15 – 16:15



Workshop: Applying for Funding 101

Dr Federica Lucivero (University of Oxford) and Paul Woodgate (Wellcome Trust)

Room: FWB G.79


16.15 – 16:45


Coffee Break


16:45 – 17:45


Keynote 4: What Should Academics do in the Public Square? Indeed What Should They do Anywhere Else?

Professor John Harris (University of Manchester / King’s College London)

Chair: Giulia Cavaliere; Room: FWB G.79


17:45 – 18:00


Closing Remarks followed by drinks



Chair: Arianna Manzini Room: WBW 3/7


Paolo Corsico (University of Manchester)


Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues in Novel Neurobiological Approaches to Psychosis and Schizophrenia: A Qualitative Study


Natalie Lane (University of Glasgow)


Time to Trump the Goldwater Rule: Are psychiatrists ethically justified in publicising their opinions on the US President’s mental health?


Leonie Mol (King’s College London)


The Ethics of Ethics: Bureaucratisation and Professionalisation of Formal Ethical Clearance


Chair: Edgar René Ruiz López Room: WBW LG/11


Jordan Parsons (University of Bristol)


Home Medical Abortion: Lagging Legislation in the UK


Claire O’ Connell (University College Cork)


Bioethics and the Regulation of Assisted Human Reproduction in Ireland


Joona Rasanen (University of Oslo)


Law, Morality and Abortion Rights after Artificial Wombs


Chair: Dr Gry Wester Room: WBW 2/1


Andrea Martani (University of Basel)


Ethical and legal issues concerning experimental treatment of terminally-ill patients: from theory to practice


Bernadette Roest (University of Humanistic Studies)


Euthanasia & the family in the Netherlands: a systematic mixed studies review


Jessica Brown (City, University of London)


Are Public Perceptions of Palliative Care Preventing Timely Transfer?



Chair: Dr César Palacios-González Room: WBW 3/7


Johanna Eichinger (King’s College London)


EctoEthics – between old objections, new freedoms and new constraints


Gala Rexer (Humboldt University of Berlin)


Clinical Encounters: The Construction of Israeli Fertility Clinics as Utopian Non-Places



Chair: Georgina Morley Room: WBW LG/11


·      Dominik Haserwarter (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich)


Ethical challenges in the medical care for refugees on public hunger strike: A qualitative interview study with health care personnel


·      Mira Leonie Schneiders (University of Oxford) Ageing in Cambodia and the role of older people: giving care and getting care


Chair Rachel Thompson


Room: WBW 2/1
Aubrey Incorvaia (Georgia Institute of Technology)


Beyond Consent: Incorporating Patient Perspectives into Clinical Trial Research Development


Sofia Iacomussi (King’s College London) Deliberative democracy towards genome editing


Chair: Daniel Tigard Room: WBW 3/7


Agata Ferretti (ETH Zurich)


Big Data Trends in Biomedical Research: Implications for Ethics Review Boards


Heilien Diedericks (King’s College London)


Digital Pills and Promises: An Analysis of the Declared Benefits and Implications of Digitized Medication


Marta Fasan (University of Trento)


TreC Platform: New Technologies and Fair Access to Medical Services


Chair: Edgar René Ruiz López Room: WBW LG/11


Victoria Charlton (King’s College London)


Does prioritising the new promote fairness? The role of innovation in healthcare priority setting at the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)


Francisca Stutzin Donoso (University College London)


The ethics of chronic diseases


Lynette Martins (University of Pennsylvania)


How Conscientious Objections of Health Care Workers Conflicts with Justice in Healthcare



Chair Giulia Cavaliere


Room: WBW 2/1
Javiera Perez-Gomez (University of Maryland)


The Expressivist Objection to the Use of Prenatal Testing for Selective Abortion: A New Defense


Aksel Sterri (University of Oslo)


Sexist sex selection


Carla Maria Reale (University of Trento)


Transgender and intersex issues as bioethical matters: compulsory sterilization and surgical intervention on minors in Europe



Chair: Giulia Cavaliere Room: WBW 3/7


Nienke de Graeff (University of Utrecht)


Arguing about genome editing in animals: arguments in the academic literature


Anna Melnyk (University of Twente)


Representation of moral emotions in the assessment of the desirability of technologies for health risks diagnosis



Chair: Sandra Loder


Room: WBW LG/11


Daniel Tigard (Tulane University)


Taking the Blame: Appropriate Responses to Medical Error


Bukola Arikawe (National Biotechnology Development Agency)


The Role of Peer Pressure in Research Misconduct among Researchers in the University of Ibadan



Chair Dr David Lawrence Room: WBW 2/1


Tena Thau (University of Oxford)


The Ethics of Punishing Athletes Who Dope


Richard Gibson (University of Manchester)


Understanding Moral Bioenhancement through Epidemiological Models



Dr Silvia Camporesi is a bioethicist with an interdisciplinary background in biotechnology, ethics, and philosophy of medicine. She’s the Director of the MSc program in Bioethics & Society at King’s College London. She holds a PhD in Philosophy of Medicine from King’s and one in Foundations of Life Sciences: Epistemology and Ethics from the European School of Molecular Medicine, University of Milan. Over the past decade, Silvia has written extensively about the ethics of emerging biotechnologies, and about gender issues in sport. She is author of two books: From Bench to Bedside to Track and Field: the Context of Enhancement and its Ethical Relevance (UC Medical Humanities Press, 2014) and, with Mike McNamee, of Bioethics, Genetics and Sport (Routledge, 2018). You can read about her research at:

Dr Jonathan Ives is a Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Ethics and Law, and Deputy Director of the University of Bristol’s Centre for Ethics in Medicine.  Jon has a range of administrative roles, including co-director of post graduate research for Bristol Medical School, and has two small children.  In his spare time, he tries to do research on Reproductive Ethics, Research Ethics, Clinical Ethics and Methodology in Bioethics.  His recent co-edited book ‘Empirical Bioethics: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives’, with Cambridge University Press, is failing to make him rich.

Dr Sridhar Venkatapuram is a Senior Lecturer of Philosophy and Global Health at King’s College London.  His research and expertise is in global/public health, human rights, ethics and political philosophy, particularly the capabilities approach.  He aims to bridge normative reasoning, particularly about social justice and inequality, with relevant natural and social sciences related to human health.  He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Health, the Graduate Institute, Geneva.

Prof Annelien L. Bredenoord is a professor of Ethics of Biomedical Innovation at the University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands as well as member of the Senate of the Dutch Parliament, on behalf of the political party Democrats 66 (D66). Her political portfolios are health care, ethics, privacy & data protection, and family law. Her research group seeks to identify, evaluate and promote policies and practices that ensure that biomedical innovation develops in an ethically and socially responsible matter. Recent advances in biological and medical research, such as regenerative medicine and stem cell research, next generation DNA sequencing, genome editing, reproductive technologies, biobanking and Big Data, continuously raise ethical and societal challenges: how to translate biomedical innovations from basic research into clinical care and society in an ethically sound way? Bredenoord co-authored over 90 articles and supervises several PhD students. She obtains funding from among others Horizon 2020, KWF (Dutch Cancer Society) and The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development ZonMw (among which a personal VENI grant).

 Professor John Harris  FMedSci., Member, Academia Europaea., FRSA.,  B.A., D.Phil., Hon. D.Litt. is Professor Emeritus  University of Manchester and Visiting Professor in Bioethics, Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, School of Global Affairs, King’s College London. His many books Include: The Value of Life, Routledge, London, 1985.  On Cloning, Routledge, London, 2004. Enhancing Evolution, Princeton University Press 2007 and How to be Good published by Oxford  University Press in April 2016.



 Dr. Karin Jongsma is a bioethicist working on ethical questions of health care decision-making (especially within digital health and psychiatry), including patient and public involvement, bio-politics, decisional authority. She received her PhD in medical ethics in 2016 (supervised by Prof. Dr Inez de Beaufort and Prof. Dr Suzanne van de Vathorst) from the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam (the Netherlands). She worked two years in Göttingen (Germany) as a post-doc, was a guest researchers at several other institutes (Ethox, Oxford; University of Tübingen; Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Israel). In September 2017 she started working as an assistant professor at the department Medical Humanities of the University Medical Center Utrecht (Prof.Dr Annelien Bredenoord). She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in bioethics and currently supervises two PhD students. 

 Dr César Palacios-González is a Research Associate at the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics, King’s College London, working in the Wellcome Trust funded project “The Donation and Transfer of Human Reproductive Materials”. From September 2018 he will be a Career Development Fellow in Practical Ethics, at the University of Oxford. His background is in philosophy. He graduated from Universidad Panamericana in 2008 with a BA in Philosophy, the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2012 with an MPhil in Philosophy, and The University of Manchester in 2015 with a PhD in Science Ethics. César’s current research focuses on the ethical and legal issues surrounding mitochondrial replacement techniques, and human/nonhuman chimera research.

Dr Adrian Blau is Senior Lecturer in Politics in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London. He works on democracy, corruption, rationality/irrationality, and post-truth politics. He has recently edited the first ever textbook on methods in political theory (Methods in Analytical Political Theory, Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Dr Federica Lucivero is Senior Researcher in Ethics and Data at the Ethox Centre and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities (Big Data Institute, University of Oxford). Her expertise spans across different areas and disciplines: ethics and social studies of science and technology, bioethics, governance of innovation, philosophy of science and technology. Federica’s current research focuses on the ethical aspects of the increasing introduction of IT(online portals, wearable sensors, mobile apps) in care pathways, individual health practices, and biomedical research. I am working on three main themes: a) the meanings of patient access to electronic health records (EHRs); 2) the governance of health apps; 3) the ethics and epistemology of biomedical research using EHRs.

Paul Woodgate is a Portfolio Developer in the Humanities & Social Science Department at Wellcome.  He focusses on the social science and bioethics parts of the funding portfolio.  Paul has been at Wellcome since 2001, having supported grant giving in Molecular & Cell Biology and Neuroscience & Mental Health before moving into his current area in 2008.  Before joining Wellcome, Paul was a graduate in economics, employed by the British Medical Association then KCL.


The PGBC 2018 organising committee would like to thank our generous sponsors: the King’s College London Faculty of Social Sciences & Public Policy Faculty Education Fund, the Institute of Medical Ethics, and the Wellcome Trust.


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Congratulations to Roisin Dillon MHPP students for being awarded the Oxford University’s 2018 “Map the System Challenge” award!


Roisin Dillon, MHPP student and receiver of the Oxford University’s 2018 “Map the System Challenge” award

Huge congratulations to Roisin Dillon, one of GHSM postgraduate students, for being awarded the top prize in Oxford University’s ‘Map the System Challenge’ competition.

This is a global competition in which students are asked to undertake research on a social or environmental issue they feel passionately about.


Roisin’s presentation on the opioid crisis came first out of 470 entries from 27 different universities across the globe. Details about the winners of this year’s competition will be up on the “Map the System’ website soon.

In an interview with 660 News, Roisin explains that “We’re oversimplifying the problem and we have a lot of misconceptions and assumptions about who might be experiencing any kind of struggle with opiate addiction.” Roisin argues that public health solutions need to tackle over-prescribing and the assumption that we should eradicate pain at all costs, rather than helping people to manage it.

See the news report here:

Roisin is studying on our MSc in Medicine, Health and Public Policy. 

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Book launch and drinks reception: Jenny Reardon’s The Postgenomic Condition Tuesday June 26th 6 pm

Please join us for a panel discussion and Q&A session with the audience which will be followed by a drinks reception.

Where: Room 1.02, Bush House, North East Wing

When: 26/06/2018 (18:00-19:30)

Cover-of-Postgenomic-ConditionJenny Reardon. The Postgenomic Condition: Ethics, Justice, and Knowledge after the Genome. 2017, University of Chicago Press.

All are welcome but please email Amy Hinterberger ( confirm your attendance for catering purposes.

Now that we have sequenced the human genome, what does it mean? In The Postgenomic Condition, Jenny Reardon critically examines the decade after the Human Genome Project, and the fundamental questions about meaning, value and justice this landmark achievement left in its wake. Drawing on more than a decade of research—in molecular biology labs, commercial start-ups, governmental agencies, and civic spaces—Reardon demonstrates how the extensive efforts to transform genomics from high tech informatics practiced by a few to meaningful knowledge beneficial to all exposed the limits of long-cherished liberal modes of knowing and governing life.

Panellist Speakers and Biographies:

Lydia Nicholas, is a PhD Candidate in Human Computer Interaction at University College London, Interaction Centre and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Jenny Reardon, is a Professor of Sociology and the Founding Director of the Science and Justice Research Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s College London.

Charis Thompson, is a Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Chancellor’s Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Link to the book and review quotes:

Podcast about the book:

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Science Meets Science-Fiction – with Dr Christine Aicardi June 13th 6:30-8 pm

Dr Christine Aicardi, Foresight Lab of the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s, and SciFi authors Pippa Goldschmidt, Stephen Oram and Geoff Ryman, have collaborated with scientists in the Department of Developmental Neurobiology and the Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology, to turn current lab research into sci fi short stories.

maxresdefaultA first event took place at Gordon Museum of Pathology, bringing together an audience of scientists from the collaborating labs and elsewhere. The reading of the stories was used as springboard for an evening of lively discussions, boosted by provocative and passionate panellists drawn from literature, neuroscience, philosophy, history, anthropology and medicine.

A follow-up, general public event is to take place at Waterstones in Tottenham Court Road on June 13th, 6.30-8.30pm.

Here is the link to register:

The organising team will be delighted to welcome as many of you as possible on this occasion – please circulate the invitation!

The project ‘Transforming Future Science through Science Fiction’ is run by Dr Christine Aicardi, in collaboration with near-future fiction writer Stephen Oram and Virtual Futures. The project is supported by the Cultural Institute at King’s College London, and by the Human Brain Project under European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.

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“From my Bachelors Degree to my first job” – blog post by Giulia Impelluso, GHSM alumna

Blog post by Giulia Impelluso

Alumna of the Undergraduate Programme Global Health and Social Medicine


Giulia Impelluso, GHSM Alumna

When I graduated from the UG programme in GHSM at King’s College London in 2017, I felt lost, I did not know what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. I therefore started a MSc in International Health Management at Imperial College Business School as I wanted to explore the economics of health as well as analyse my perception of healthcare through the lens of business. My master’s degree helped me build on what I had learnt in my undergraduate course and equipped me with significant skills to face the challenges of job hunting. I knew I wanted to work in healthcare, as that’s what I studied for and dreamed of, and I knew I wanted to make an impact in my community, be of help where there was most need and be challenged by real-world issues.

At the beginning of May 2018, I received a call from a No Caller ID, which I almost missed because in my head I was saying ‘IT IS SPAM’. Instead, it resulted to be a job offer! Good thing I picked up.

Back in December 2017, together with other 16,999 people, I applied to the NHS Graduate Scheme. It was the top choice in my ‘job list’ and when I submitted my application I thought ‘I am never getting this, it is too competitive, why would they take me …’, in short, I was being dramatic. I was actually wrong; I was firstly called to do an interview and then I was invited to the final selection stage; the Assessment Centre. I left the Assessment Centre in Leeds confident that I had done well: I had stayed focused all day, I finished all the tasks and managed to raise some good points during the group exercise.  However, I also knew that I had met bright people that deserved that spot just as much as I did. So, I waited a month to know whether it was a yes or a no, and it ended up being a maybe: I was 8th in the waiting list. Of course, my first reaction was of disappointment, but I then realised that I was 208 over 17,000 people and I still had a good chance to get in. Remember that call? Well, that call came exactly a month after the disappointing ‘waiting list’ email and I got an offer to be a General Management Trainee for the NHS 2018-2020! I was happy, proud and I felt so lucky. The most surprising thing of all is that I thought it would be so hard to get a job I liked as a first job, and at that moment I felt like I had achieved it.

I used to feel like I still had so much to learn, so much to do and still so long to go before I could say ‘I am so excited to start my new job’. Well, do not get me wrong, I definitely still have a long way to go but I can confidently say that I could not think of a better way to start my career journey than joining the NHS. It is certainly not an easy task to find the ‘right job’: it takes preparation, effort and a lot thinking and digging deeper to know yourself in and out. Spoiler? It is all worth it. From my experience, the way to actually find the ‘right job’ is to start job hunting. By going through different application processes, interviews and taking part in career events it is easier to exclude those job that do not suit your preferences. Despite it seeming a long, unrewarding and somewhat boring process, job hunting is an opportunity to discover yourself and find your path. It is then easier to know what ‘perfect’ means to you.

Good luck!

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