Queensland Museum

Where Worlds Collide: Science, Values and Ethics

12/03/2016 Griffith University Conservatorium Theatre
Register for My Planner


Griffith University Conservatorium Theatre


S01, 140 Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101




12:00 - 13:30


Adult: $30 Concession: $25
Dimity Dornan Participant Dimity Dornan
Wayne Hall Participant Wayne Hall
Rod Lamberts Participant Rod Lamberts
Natasha Mitchell Moderator Natasha Mitchell
Margaret Somerville Participant Margaret Somerville
Rob Sparrow Participant Rob Sparrow

The bionic body is closer than you think! The technology is out there to edit our genes and replace body parts. Those afflicted by disease may cheer, but such developments will cause our value systems to bend and flex like never before.

Are you prepared to step up to the crease to face a bowler with an enhanced bionic arm, coupled with a bionic eye? Or go beyond the sports field and into a warzone with a super solider? How far is too far? Should we allow chemically enhanced performance on the sporting field, in the classroom and in our defence forces? And how do we make such decisions?

Join our experts to sort through the ethics of making us less ‘human’ and more ‘perfect’.



Meet the speakers

Dimity Dornan AO, has over 40 years clinical and research experience in the hearing industry. She is the founder and Executive Director of Hear and Say, and in 2008, established the Research and Innovation arm of the organisation. Also the Co-founder of First Voice, she has played a significant role in raising the profile of hearing health across Australia.

Wayne Hall Wayne Hall is Professor and Inaugural Director of the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research at the University of Queensland and a Visiting Professor at the National Addiction Centre, Kings College London, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW. He was formerly an NHMRC Australia Fellow in addiction neuroethics at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research and the Queensland Brain Institute, UQ; Professor of Public Health Policy in the School of Population Health; Director of the Office of Public Policy and Ethics at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland; and Director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW. He has advised the World Health Organization on: the health effects of cannabis use; the effectiveness of drug substitution treatment; the scientific quality of the Swiss heroin trials; the contribution of illicit drug use to the global burden of disease; and the ethical implications of genetic and neuroscience research on addiction.

Rod Lamberts is Deputy Director of the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS) at the Australian National University and a former National President of the Australian Science Communicators (retired injured in 2013).  He has nearly 20 years experience as a science communication practitioner, facilitator and researcher and has at least once been referred to as an expert of international standing in the field. Rod has provided science communication advice to a wide variety of private and public science-related agencies in Australia and overseas (including the CSIRO, UNESCO & APPEA) and is a regular public commentator on science, science communication, and science and public policy. When not lurking at the ANU, he can be heard around the ABC radio network doing things like Research Filter and Blinded by Science, or read in places like The Conversation.

Natasha Mitchell is a multi-award winning ABC journalist and presenter. She has hosted a range of flagship programs including the national, daily morning show, Life Matters (2012-16), and the popular science, psychology & culture radio program, All in the Mind (2002-12), on ABC Radio National.

Natasha served as a board member and vice president of the World Federation of Science Journalists (2009-13).
Her broadcast work has received accolades internationally, including the overall Grand Prize and 4 Gold World Medals at the New York Radio Festivals, among other awards. Natasha was recipient of a prestigious Knight Fellowship at MIT/Harvard (2005-6), and a Marine Biological Laboratory Journalism Fellowship at Woods Hole. She served on the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Advisory Committee (2009-11), and was co-editor of the book anthology, ‘Best Australian Science Writing 2013’.

Margaret Somerville is the Samuel Gale Professor of Law at McGill University and professor in the university’s faculty of medicine. She is also the founding director of the law faculty’s Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law.

She received a A.u.A. (pharm.) from the University of Adelaide, a Bachelor of Law degree (Hons. I) and the University Medal from the University of Sydney, and a D.C.L. from McGill University.

Rob Sparrow is a professor in the Philosophy program; a chief investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science; and an adjunct professor in the Centre for Human Bioethics, at Monash University, where he works on ethical issues raised by new technologies. He is the author of some 70 refereed papers and book chapters on topics ranging from the ethics of military robotics, to cloning and nanotechnology. He is a co-chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Robot Ethics and was one of the founding members of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control.

Griffith University Conservatorium Theatre

S01, 140 Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101