CAVE in the media

Wendry RogersOur members often present their work to the public through the popular media. Collected here are the news articles, opinion pieces, and blog posts that are either written by or feature our members. There's a wide range of articles, from Conversation pieces to posts in the Brains blog to articles in the New York Times. There are also radio and podcast interviews where our members talk about their research or give their expert opinions on certain topics.

As an added feature, there are videos: some long ones, of the annual CAVE public lecture, and some short ones, including interviews and popular talks by our members at events such as TEDx.

These will give you a great introduction to the ideas and problems that this centre is interested in. We hope that you enjoy them!

Latest stories:

Prof Wendy Rogers among Nature's 10 people who mattered in science in 2019 Nature
Nature’s 10 is the journal’s annual list of ten people who mattered in science this year. They might have achieved amazing discoveries, brought attention to crucial issues, or even gained notoriety for controversial actions. Although not an award or a ranking, Nature’s 10 highlights individuals who had a role in some of the year’s most significant moments in science.
The journal highlighted Prof Rogers' work as an academic and activist in examining the ethics controversies around the origin of some livers, hearts and kidneys used for organ transplants in China. Read the article here.
Prof Rogers' work on the ethics of organ harvesting in China was also given recognition by Medscape. She was named as one of the Physicians of the Year, a list of prominent physicians and researchers who represented the "best" in the chosen field. See the full list here.
See Nature's 10 list here.
See Medscape's list here.

'Sharenting' alert: the risks of sharing pics of your kids online. The Lighthouse (Macquarie University). 1 June 2019.
Featuring: Dr Joanne Faulkner
Topic: CAVE member Dr Joanne Faulkner discusses the potential pitfalls of “sharenting”, the trend of parents sharing their kids’ childhood through photos and videos in different social media platforms.
Writer: Fran Molloy
Read article.

Macquarie’s surgical innovation framework recognised as international gold standard. Macquarie News. June 2019.
The UK’s Royal College of Surgeons has recently adopted guidelines for surgical innovation developed by a Macquarie University team, led by Professor Wendy Rogers.
Read full article.

'Just a female doctor': women surgeons battle 'worthless' biases. The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 May 2019.
Featuring: Dr Katrina Hutchison
Topic: Forty-eight women fellows and trainees of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons took part in a series of in-depth interviews for a study on gender bias in surgery led by research fellow and CAVE member Dr Katrina Hutchison at Macquarie University’s Department of Philosophy.
Writer: Kate Aubusson
Read article.

Rogers, Wendy and Matthew Robertson. "Whose hearts, livers and lungs are transplanted in China? Origins must be clear in human organ research". The Conversation. 6 February 2019
Read full article.

Audio interview
Organ transplants from executed Chinese prisoners and research ethics. ABC. 11 February 2019.
Guest: Professor Wendy Rogers
Host: Dr Norman Swan
Producer: James Bullen
Listen to episode.

Levy, Neil. Why no-platforming is sometimes a justifiable position. Aeon. 04 March 2019
Read full article.

Blog post
Johnson, Jane and Chris Degeling. "More ethics is good, right?" Journal of Medical Ethics Blog. 17 February 2019.
Read blog post here.

Who are Australians in 2019? The Lighthouse (Macquarie University). 23 January 2019.
Contributor: AProf Paul Formosa
Topic: A nation of beer-drinking cricket-lovers? Diversity challenges those narrow, traditional views
Writer: Sarah Maguire
Read article.

For stories from previous years, as well as videos, please visit our media archive.



IVF: Financial incentives may be driving decisions and advice of some doctors, by Wendy Lipworth, Brette Blakely, and Ian Kerridge

ABC News, November 2, 2017
CAVE member Brette Blakely and CAVE affiliate member Wendy Lipworth

About one in 25 Australian babies are conceived using assisted reproductive technologies (ART), including in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).

These interventions are almost all offered in private fertility clinics, backed by a thriving fertility industry.

Women who are deemed eligible for IVF can have an unlimited number of cycles subsidised by Medicare, but out-of-pocket costs can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars per cycle. Read more.

When is enough, enough? New study on the commercialisation and conflict of interest in the IVF industry, by Macquarie Newsroom

Macquarie Newsroom, November 2, 2017
CAVE member Brette Blakely and CAVE affiliate member Wendy Lipworth

  • Australian-first study into the commercialisation of IVF treatments found some professionals in the artificial reproductive technology (ART) industry believe that there is a conflict of interest in IVF clinics operating as commercial businesses
  • The conflicts of interest in ART can manifest in patients being offered numerous cycles, even when success is highly unlikely
  • This could result in risk of financial, physical and emotional harm to women seeking IVF treatment

Read more.

Suffering at work, by Jean-Philippe Deranty

Clear Spot Club, October 10, 2017
CAVE member Jean-Philippe Deranty

When things go well at work, it can be an "existential emboldening and strengthening" but when things go wrong - such as having to deal with a dickhead - things fall apart very quickly for people, says philosopher Jean-Philippe Deranty.

In this edited Q + A, Deranty explores the deeper implications of work. Read more.

Art, Authenticity, and Film, by Rafe McGregor

The Partially Examined Life Blog, October 3, 2017
CAVE member Robert Sinnerbrink

The relationship among the aesthetic, cognitive, and ethical values of a single work of art or of art considered as a practice or an institution is the subject of much debate. Even if one accepts relatively uncontroversial definitions of each type of value—the value of a work of art as a work of art (aesthetic), the value of a work of art in providing knowledge (cognitive), and the virtue of the perspective embodied by a work of art (ethical)—the extent to which each interacts with one or both of the others is far from clear. Is, for example, the knowledge provided by a work of art part and parcel of its aesthetic value, and is a work that misrepresents reality consequently aesthetically weaker than a work that does not? Is truth a criterion of ethical evaluation and, if so, is the cognitive value of a work of art part and parcel of its ethical value? Read more.

How long is too long? When the job can no longer be done by an injured worker, by Therese MacDermott

People Culture, September 29, 2017
CAVE member Therese MacDermott

A common response to a situation when a worker is injured is to assign the worker to a different role for a designated period, often referred to as “light” or “suitable” duties, while he or she is recovering from an injury. This response is generally dictated by the requirements of workers’ compensation legislation and may also be undertaken to fulfil an employer’s obligations under anti-discrimination legislation. However, employers can feel pressured to retain an injured worker in an alternative role long after it becomes clear that the worker cannot return to his or her pre-existing duties, and after the requirements of workers’ compensation laws are satisfied. Read more.

Is Cordelia Fine's Award from the Royal Society an Escalation of the Culture Wars? by Andrew Sabisky

Areo Magazine, September 23, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

One occasionally hears it said, generally by intelligent people who have turned their brains off for a moment, that science and politics don’t mix, and shouldn’t. This is of course nonsense, as they would realize if they thought about it for more than five seconds (which is, admittedly, a very lengthy period of time). Science is inherently political, and not just because much of the everyday operation of science is funded from the public purse. Read more.

Cordelia Fine: If women aren't sweet, they're called bitches, by Decca Aitkenhead

The Guardian, September 23, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

If you have ever worked alongside both men and women, you will almost certainly have seen for yourself some of the classic gender differences in behaviour. Anyone still in doubt about their existence could have observed how Cordelia Fine conducted herself this week. On Tuesday night, the distinguished neuroscientist was awarded the Royal Society’s science book prize. One of six nominees, she had flown into London from her home in Melbourne on Monday, and is trailing her suitcase behind her when we meet the following afternoon, before heading back to Heathrow for the 24-hour journey home. I assume she must have known she would win, as who would come all this way otherwise? She looks surprised and shakes her head. “No, no. I was just really, really thrilled and excited about being nominated.” Read more.

Testosterone Rex triumphs as Royal Society science book of the year, by Claire Armitstead

The Guardian, September 20, 2017
CAVE affiliate member Cordelia Fine

A book that rubbishes the idea of “fundamental” differences between men and women has become the 30th winner of the prestigious Royal Society prize for science book of the year.

Psychologist Cordelia Fine is the third woman in a row to win the £25,000 award, which has been described as the Booker prize for science writing. Her book, Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of Our Gendered Minds, follows Gaia Vince’s win for Adventures in the Anthropocene in 2015 and Andrea Wulf’s The Invention of Nature in 2016. Read more.

See also The Royal Society,

Bugsplats and Jackpots: US military drone operators enjoy gamers' delight, by Joseph Pugliese

Newsweek, September 18, 2017
CAVE member Joseph Pugliese

Over the last decade, the US government has significantly expanded its military drone program.

It has now become an indispensable component in its conduct of wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Syria.

What is unique and disturbing about the US’ contemporary drone wars is the manner in which gaming technologies have now become effectively enmeshed within the operational field of war. Read more.

Gay-identifying AI tells us more about stereotypes than the origins of sexuality, by Colin Klein

The Conversation, September 14, 2017
CAVE member Colin Klein

In a forthcoming paper, two Stanford researchers used a deep neural network to detect sexuality from profile pictures on a US dating website.

The internet was aghast. The authors themselves raised the spectre of Orwellian surveillance.

More problematic, however, was their claim that the results provide support for a controversial theory that broadly suggests gay people appear and act atypical for their gender.

This conclusion threatens to undermine science with stereotype. Read more.

Women's intellectual aptitude would blow Aristotle's mind, by Emer O'Toole

The Irish Times, September 6, 2017
CAVE affiliate member Cordelia Fine

In mid-August, James Damore was fired from Google because he circulated a memo arguing that the lack of women in the tech industry is due to their innately inferior technical skills and leadership abilities.

However, this wasn’t sexism: it was science. (Okay, so Damore is not a scientist of cognitive sex differences, but he went to Harvard and is good at chess – so that counts, right?) Read more.

Racism is real, race is not: a philosopher's perspective, by Adam Hochman

The Conversation, September 1, 2017
CAVE member Adam Hochman

We live in a richly diverse country, populated by Indigenous Australians, recent immigrants, and descendants of relatively recent immigrants. Some feel threatened by this diversity; some relish it.

Most of us, I think, are unsure quite how to talk about it. Read more.

Taking the man out of behaviour management, by Ruth Golding

Tes, September 1, 2017
CAVE affiliate member Cordelia Fine

Schools’ dangerous tendency to perceive ‘male’ approaches to behaviour as being more effective is limiting women’s career paths and damaging both students and teachers, argues Ruth Golding

I was at an interview for a headship interview and it didn’t take me long to see that improving behaviour was a key priority for the school.

Year 11 students were wandering the corridors, fooling around and playfighting when they should have been in lessons. They were not responding to direction. Read more.

Cinempathy: Doing Ethics on Screen, by Joseph G. Kickasola

Los Angeles Review of Books, August 27, 2017
CAVE member Robert Sinnerbrink

DURING A RECENT STINT in rehab, the famous Generation X author Douglas Coupland penned the following words:

Everyone here ends up saying, at some point, “How the f*** did I end up here?”

There’s always that angel-on-one-shoulder, devil-on-the-other back and forth dialogue that goes on inside the heads of users. Do it! / Don’t do it! But what are those voices — who are they and where are they coming from? […] Is it one part of the brain speaking to another? Is it the brain’s “crave” centre speaking with the brain’s “bourgeois self-control centre”? If you’re an individual human being, shouldn’t you have one single voice inside your head? How did your “self” get split into two opposing factions?

[…] [S]houldn’t we all be investigating these voices? Read more.

How we inherit masculine and feminine behaviours: new idea about environment and genes, by Cordelia Fine, Daphna Joel, and John Dupre

The Conversation, August 19, 2017
CAVE affiliate member Cordelia Fine

The now infamous Google memo, written by engineer James Damore, has inflamed longstanding debates about the differences between women and men.

Everyone, including Damore, acknowledges the role of our social environment in shaping gender differences. Ideas about which jobs are “women-appropriate”, the pressures placed on men to take up “manly” roles – these experiences, expectations and opportunities can impact how we perform our gender. Read more.

Dissenting Animals, by Jane Johnson

Australasian Animal Studies Association Blog, August 16, 2017
CAVE member Jane Johnson

Oscar, my Cairn terrier, is a remarkable creature in lots of ways, including that he loves going to the vet. Although some pretty traumatic things have happened to him in his 14 years, Oscar seems to know that the vet is there to help, that the poking and prodding will be worth it. To me it appears that Oscar assents to his consultations at the vets; that he agrees to and accepts what will be done to him. But not all animals treated by vets assent to what happens to them, in fact, many appear to exhibit dissent. Dissent is an interesting but neglected phenomenon to explore in the context of animals, particularly animals in research. Read more.

Shortlist for The Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize 2017 explores life’s big questions, by The Royal Society

The Royal Society, August 3, 2017
CAVE affiliate member Cordelia Fine

The Royal Society reveals the shortlist for the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize 2017, celebrating the best of science writing for a non-specialist audience.

This year’s six-strong 30th anniversary shortlisted books provide a fascinating insight into some of the biggest questions facing us today. The shortlisted authors include two practising scientists (Eugenia Cheng and Joseph Jebelli), a psychologist and a philosophy professor (Cordelia Fine and Peter Godfrey-Smith) and two writers with journalism backgrounds (Mark O’Connell and Ed Yong). Read more.

Embryo gene editing breakthrough a step closer to designer babies, by Alana Mitchelson

The New Daily, August 3, 2017
CAVE affiliate member Tereza Hendl

Researchers are excited and “petrified” by the breakthrough in gene editing a human embryo, but the development has raised ethical questions about the potential for the technology to result in ‘designer babies’.

New research, published in the journal Nature, revealed scientists have for the first time used gene editing to prevent a hereditary heart condition in early-stage human embryos. Read more.

A crime is a crime, even if it's online - here are six ways to stop cyberhate, by Nicole Vincent and Emma Jane

ABC News, July 18, 2017
CAVE affiliate member Nicole Vincent

Picture this. You're confronted by a stranger in the park who calls you a "fat, ugly, c***" and threatens to smash your face in with a hammer next time they see you there.

Or you discover nude photos of yourself stuck to light poles around your suburb — accompanied by your name, address, and an open invite to everyone to pop around for rough sex. Read more.

Women online are getting used to cyber attacks. They need to get used to reporting it, by Emma Jane and Nicole Vincent

Sydney Morning Herald, July 18, 2017
CAVE affiliate member Nicole Vincent

Women on the internet have become accustomed to vicious namecalling. They're used to the "dick pics", aggro sleaze and burlesquely-punctuated threats of rape and dismemberment. Some are even used to the online circulation of home addresses and private photo collections.

What they're not used to – yet – is reporting these things to police. Read more.

How Social Media Distorts Our Perception of Groups, by Neil Levy

Practical Ethics Blog: Ethics in the News, July 10, 2017
CAVE member Neil Levy

We know that groups are internally diverse. For any group you care to pick out (Brexit supporters, feminists, tea drinkers), we know intellectually that they will disagree among themselves about a great deal. When people identify as a group member, they may feel pressure to conform to the group view, but there are countervailing pressures in the other direction which limit the effects of group conformity. Disputes internal to groups are often as – or more – heated than those between them. Read more.

Fake news - a role for neuroethics? by Neil Levy

The Neuroethics Blog, June 20, 2017
CAVE member Neil Levy

Fake news proliferates on the internet, and it sometimes has consequential effects. It may have played a role in the recent election of Donald Trump to the White House, and the Brexit referendum. Democratic governance requires a well-informed populace: fake news seems to threaten the very foundations of democracy.

How should we respond to its challenge? The most common response has been a call for greater media literacy. Fake news often strikes more sophisticated consumers as implausible. But there are reasons to think that the call for greater media literacy is unlikely to succeed as a practical solution to the problem of fake news. For one thing, the response seems to require what it seeks to bring about: a better informed population. For another, while greater sophistication might allow us to identify many instances of fake news, some of it is well crafted enough to fool the most sophisticated (think of the recent report that the FBI was fooled by a possibly fabricated Russian intelligence report). Read more.

Reprinted on The Hastings Center blog, and reported on in BioEdge.

What to do when you witness an assault: the bystander effect, by Grace de Morgan, June 16, 2017
CAVE member Neil Levy

A FEW weeks ago, while I was waiting for my tram home, I witnessed three young women violently assault another young woman, a stranger. As punches were thrown, I froze.

A group of teenagers standing next to me also watched on in shock. The once lively city soundscape was replaced by the dull thuds of fists on skull and muted cries.

It was only when security guards from across the road came towards us and started shouting that the women backed off and walked away. Read more.

Coming to Terms with Gender in Child Sexual Abuse, by Kate Gleeson

Inherently Human Blog: Critical Perspectives on Law, Gender & Sexuality, June 6, 2017
CAVE member Kate Gleeson

The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is in its closing stages, preparing its final report due at the end of this year. The Royal Commission was established in 2013 in response to allegations of cover-ups of child sexual abuse in religious and secular institutions.

The Commissioners have since embarked on an extensive project of truth recovery and restorative justice, investigating the organisational practices of institutions ranging from dance schools, swim schools and yoga ashrams, to schools, Churches and orphanages of different denominations, although most allegations concern the Catholic Church. Read more.

Nudges in a post-truth world, by Neil Levy

BMJ Blogs, May 22, 2017
CAVE member Neil Levy

Human beings are motivated reasoners. We find ways to believe what we want to believe, sometimes even in the face of strong evidence to the contrary. This fact helps to explain why so many political issues are intractable, and why so many of us reject the scientific consensus on urgent issues like GMOs, vaccination and climate change. Given the importance of these issues, any means of increasing our responsiveness to evidence deserves exploration. Read more.

Australia upholds the ban on sex selection: a partial victory in an ongoing struggle, by Tereza Hendl

BioNews, May 22, 2017
CAVE affiliate member Tereza Hendl

Australia recently saw important developments in the field of assisted reproductive technologies, as the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released its revision of the Part B of the Ethical Guidelines on the Use of Assisted Reproductive Technology in Clinical Practice and Research. Among other topics, this section is concerned with the regulation of sex selection and the use of prenatal genetic diagnosis for embryonic selection. Read more.

Are Men Better Risk-Takers Than Women? by Cordelia Fine

Nautilus, May 18, 2017
CAVE affiliate member Cordelia Fine

My eldest son has long been irresistibly drawn to danger. At 6 months old he rolled across the entire expanse of the living room in order to more closely inspect the drill that his father—forgivably assuming that five yards was a safe distance to place a power tool from a baby who couldn’t yet crawl—had put on the floor. On one memorable toddler playdate, within five minutes he had located the drawer of sharp kitchen knives that his little host Harry had failed to discover in his two years of life, and began juggling with its contents. At the age of 10, I left him happily engaged in the normally hazardless activity of assembling a cake batter, only to return five minutes later to discover him about to plunge a roaring hair dryer into the mixture. As he calmly explained, he had forgotten to melt the butter before adding it to the bowl, and was therefore trying to do so retroactively. Read more.

Are Insects Conscious? by Peter Singer

Australasian Animal Studies Society, May 17, 2017
CAVE member Colin Klein

Last summer, a cabbage white butterfly laid its eggs on an arugula I was growing. Before long, the plant was swarming with green caterpillars, well disguised against the green leaves. I had other arugula plants, some distance away, that would give me plenty of leaves for our salads, and I didn’t want to use an insecticide, so I just left the caterpillars alone. Soon, every leaf was eaten down to the stalk. With nothing left to eat, the caterpillars, not ready to begin the next stage of their life cycle, all starved to death. Read more.

Here is What Politicians Said When They Voted On Whether Abortion Should Remain a Crime, by Gina Rushton

Buzzfeed, May 12, 2017
CAVE member Kate Gleeson

Legislation that would have removed abortion from the NSW Crimes Act and enacted safe access zones around clinics and hospitals where abortions are performed was yesterday voted down in the Upper House of the state's parliament. Read more.

As Dr. Zevallos explains in her blog post, Khan's selective quotation does not accurately portray Gleeson's stance. Read more.

Nudges and Reasoning, by Neil Levy

Practical Ethics Blog: Ethics in the News, May 11, 2017
CAVE member Neil Levy

Back in what now seems like a previous age, when David Cameron was prime minister, there was quite a lot of attention paid to his so-called ‘nudge unit’. Nudges, named after Thaler and Sunstein’s well-known book, are ways of getting people to make better choices by making these options more salient or less effortful for them. For example, you can (apparently) nudge people to save more for retirement by changing the default option for retirement plans: when the default is a higher proportion of income people save more than when it is lower. Similarly, you can increase the proportion of organ donors by making the system opt out rather than opt in, and you can nudge people to eat healthier by ensuring that fruit, and not crisps or chocolate, is at eye level in the queue for the register in the lunch room. Read more.

Debating philosophers: Pierrick Bourrat responds to my criticism of his paper, by Pierrick Bourrat

Sandwalk Blog, May 10, 2017
CAVE member Pierrick Bourrat

Both Qiaoying Lu and I are grateful to Professor Moran for the copious attention he has bestowed on our paper. We are early career researchers and didn’t expect our paper to receive so much attention from a senior academic in a public forum. Moran claims that our work is out of touch with science (and more generally works in philosophy of biology), that the paper is weakly argued and that some of what we write is false. But in the end, he puts forward a similar position to ours. Read more.

Christina Pardo and Carlos Bernal, new judges of the [Columbian] Constitutional Court

Semana, May 3, 2017
CAVE member Carlos Pulido Bernal

The election that generated the greatest expectation was the second of the proposals proposed by the President of the Republic, where the magistrate would leave to occupy the square of María Victoria Calle. Néstor Osuna and Carlos Bernal, both lawyers of the Externado and recognized experts in constitutional law, arrived at the election with the same possibilities of victory, because in the weeks that lasted the campaign they reached to add significant endorsements.

Before the election, the Liberal Party's party decided to support Osuna, although Senator Viviane Morales had made an intense campaign for Bernal, with whom she shares her Christian status.  The Party of the U arrived divided, but Osuna reached the endorsement of 12 senators like Roy Barreras and the Ñoños.  Cambio Radical had pledged to support Bernal.

To the surprise of many Bernal got the support of the conservatives and the Democratic Center, so he won the pulse he held with Osuna Finally, the academician had 59 votes, Osuna got 32. María Margarita 'Paca' Zuleta, who completed the tender, Did not get a vote. Read more. [Article in Spanish; Translated by Google.]

Claims that the Internet damages our memory and cognition may be unfounded, by Richard Heersmink

LSE Business Review, May 2, 2017
CAVE member Richard Heersmink

Why store information in biological memory when it is reliably available on the Internet? Some argue that relying on the Internet is adaptive because it frees up internal resources which can then be used for other cognitive tasks, whereas others argue that this is maladaptive because it makes us less knowledgeable. In this blog post, I first look at some of the scientific evidence regarding the effects of the Internet on memory and then suggest an approach to think about the desirability of these effects. Read more.

Australia ART guidelines oppose baby sex selection, by Jane Currie

Bionews, April 24, 2017
CAVE affiliate member Tereza Hendl

Australia has maintained a ban on sex selection for non-medical reasons in revised guidelines on assisted reproductive technologies (ART), published this month.

After two rounds of public consultation, the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) concluded in its updated guidance that 'sex selection (by whatever means) must not be undertaken except to reduce the risk of transmission of a serious genetic condition'.

The authors at the AHEC acknowledge that this is a complex issue. Summarising the consultation findings, they cite some arguments supporting non-medical sex selection. These include the potential for smaller families, avoiding patients seeking sex selection overseas, and respect for patient autonomy and reproductive choice. Read more.

Govt committee backs ban on sex selection in Australia, by Michael Cook

BioEdge, April 21, 2017
CAVE affiliate member Tereza Hendl

An Australian government body has just released its first major update of guidelines for assisted reproductive technology in 10 years. The most controversial decision by the Australian Health Ethics Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council was to continue a ban on sex-selection by IVF clinics. It says that “AHEC does not endorse, or wish to perpetuate, gender stereotyping or cultural or personal biases based on biological sex”. Therefor the current policy will remain in place: “admission to life should not be conditional upon a child being a particular sex”. Read more.

Should you be allowed to pre-determine the sex of your child? by Emma Brancatisano

The Huffington Post, April 21, 2017
CAVE affiliate member Tereza Hendl

For many of us, the sex of our children is a matter of chance.

For some parents-to-be, choosing the sex of their baby through IVF is a desired choice -- and one that Australia's peak medical body has chosen to continue knocking back.

The National Health and Medical Research Council on Thursday released their long-anticipated guidelines into assisted reproductive technologies (ART) including IVF, posthumous use of gametes, surrogacy and sex selection. Read more.

Expert Reaction: IVF, sex selection and surrogacy: Release of the NHMRC Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology

SciMex, April 20, 2017
CAVE affiliate member Tereza Hendl

Around 1 in 25 women who give birth in Australia use some form of assisted reproductive technology (ART) to achieve their pregnancy. The use of ART, however, is not without controversy and there are important ethical considerations in both the clinical and research contexts. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), through the work of the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC), has a well-established role in the provision of ethical advice for ART. On April 20 the CEO of NHMRC will issue the Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research, 2017 (the ART guidelines). Read more.

Sex Selection: medical research council criticised for not changing rule, by Melissa Davey

The Guardian, April 20, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Tereza Hendl

Australia’s peak body for medical research has been accused of bowing to conservatives in not recommending parents be allowed to choose the sex of their baby.

The National Health and Medical Research Council, which sets ethical research guidelines and allocates medical research funding, on Thursday released its updated guidelines for assisted reproduction procedures such as IVF, posthumous use of gametes, surrogacy and sex selection. Read more.

Testosterone Rex: is the hormone the essence of masculinity, or is it far more complex? by Sian Norris

Open Democracy, April 7, 2017
CAVE affiliate member Cordelia Fine

Cordelia Fine's 2010 best-seller, Delusions of Gender, explored the science and popular thinking behind sex differences and the idea that gender is an innate and immovable force. In her new book, Testosterone Rex, Fine turns to the influence of testosterone and its impact on psychology and inequality between men and women.

It is a rare text: accessible to the non-academic reader while exhibiting rigorous research, drawing on science from evolutionary biology to behavioural studies. It’s an invigorating read that forces you to interrogate your own ideas about gender and testosterone. I found it repeatedly challenging my own assumptions. Read more.

We've been labelled 'anti-sex difference' for demanding greater scientific rigour, by Cordelia Fine and Rebecca Jordan-Young

The Guardian, April 6, 2017
CAVE affiliate member Cordelia Fine

At a time when both science and feminism are under attack, there are welcome signs that neuroscience is showing new openness to critiques of research into sex differences. Mainstream journals increasingly publish studies that reveal how misleading assumptions about the sexes bias the framing of hypotheses, research design and interpretation of findings – and these critiques increasingly come with constructive recommendations, discussions and debates. Read more.

Business as usual?: The confused case for corporate gender equality, by Cordelia Fine

The Monthly, March 2017
CAVE affiliate member Cordelia Fine

One year, in a class I was teaching, I gave some of the students – all senior professionals – a case about a biotech company. With healthy numbers of women at entry level dwindling away with seniority, the company’s executives were considering a proposal to set quotas for female scientists. In the hope of getting my students talking about ethical principles of fairness and justice as well as economic consequences, I had set a case that alluded to anecdotal evidence of discrimination, a gender pay gap, and an unsuccessful product for women that might have been better designed had there only been a scientist with a female-specific anatomical part on the team. Read more.

Neuroethics Symposium: Special Issue on The Biology of Desire by Marc Lewis, by Katrina Sifferd

The Brains Blog, March 30, 2017
CAVE members Neil Levy and Anke Snoek

It is my pleasure to introduce the latest in our series of symposia on papers from the journal Neuroethics.

The focus of the current symposium is a forthcoming special issue of Neuroethics on Marc Lewis‘s book The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease (PublicAffairs, 2016). In his book, Lewis challenges the “disease model” of addiction, arguing that this model both misconstrues what addiction is and undermines proper routes to healing.

Our symposium begins with an introduction by the editors of the special issue, Steve Matthews and Anke Snoek. Following this are commentaries by three contributors to the issue: Kent Berridge, Hanna Pickard, and Jerome Wakefield. Each of the commentaries discusses the others two authors’ contributions to the symposium in Neuroethics. These contributions are linked below, as is Marc Lewis’s précis to his book.

We are grateful to Neil Levy, editor of Neuroethics, and all the contributors to this symposium for their work in making it possible. Read more.

The Deadly Business of an Unregulated Global Stem Cell Market, by Tereza Hendl and Tamara Lysaght

BMJ Blogs: Journal of Medical Ethics blog, March 30, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Tereza Hendl

In our paper, we report on the case of a 75-year old Australian woman who died in December 2013 from complications of an autologous stem cell procedure. This case was tragic and worth reporting to the medical ethics community because her death was entirely avoidable and the result of a pernicious global problem – doctors exploiting regulatory systems in order to sell unproven and unjustified stem cell interventions. Read more.

Willpower not as important in substance abuse recovery, study, by Cesar Gamboa

Addiction Now, March 27, 2017
CAVE members Jeanette Kennett, Neil Levy, and Anke Snoek

Some people believe willpower is what’s needed most when overcoming drug addiction, but a new study provides evidence that the use of recovery strategies may be more critical than, and independent of, willpower during substance abuse recovery.

The researchers reported observations on how individuals — specifically those addicted to either alcohol or opioids — perceived their self-control and how it developed over time and provided a theoretical framework that may help better understand the application of strategies when facilitating recovery. Read more.

When gender differences are ignored in health studies, it's women who pay the price, by Clare Lehman

Commentary Magazine, March 15, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

The insistence that gender differences were and are immaterial to the proper functioning of a free society has been a feature of our common conversation since the 1970s. It was the key to “second-wave feminism,” the political and social movement that took women’s liberation beyond issues of suffrage and wages and employment to the question of how a just society orders itself. Read more.

Faster access to new drugs doesn't always mean better treatment, by Narcyz Ghinea and Wendy Lipworth

The Conversation, March 15, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Wendy Lipworth

US President Donald Trump recently chose an adviser to a large pharmaceutical company to lead the country’s drug regulation agency.

Scott Gottlieb – who reportedly sits on the boards of several small drug companies and is an adviser to GlaxoSmithKline – is expected to introduce greater flexibility to the evidence standards used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to evaluate the benefit and risks of new medicines. Read more.

Gender disappointment: 'Another little boy... I almost cried', by Kylie Matthews

Kidspot, March 9, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Tereza Hendl

When you found out the sex of your baby, how did it make you feel? For some women the disappointment they experience on discovering their child isn’t their preferred gender can be devastating. So what’s behind their desire for one particular gender over another? And how can they achieve it? Kylie Matthews investigates. Read more.

David Harold Tribe Philosophy Prize, by Sydney University

Sydney University, March 7, 2013
CAVE member Colin Klein

The School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry at the University of Sydney takes pleasure in announcing the joint winners of the 2016 David Harold Tribe Philosophy Prize.

The winners, who will share the $12,000 prize, are:

Karen Green, A History of Women’s Political Thought in Europe, 1700-1800, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014); and

Colin Klein, What the Body Commands: The Imperative Theory of Pain, (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2015). Read more.

Testosterone Rex: Why everything you know about hormones is probably wrong, by David Smith

New Statesman, March 3, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

Imagine saying to someone you don’t like: “You’re fired”. Would the testosterone course round your body? Interestingly, in women the former is true, with their secretion increasing if they wield authority – something typically reserved for men. This is one of many examples demonstrating how the relationship between biological sex and testosterone isn’t clear cut, and much of it may be owed to gender roles, given by the psychologist Cordelia Fine in her new book, Testosterone Rex. Read more.

Testosterone Rex: It's time to stop blaming sexism on hormones, by Catherine Fox

ABC News, March 2, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

The notion that the hormone testosterone gives men a natural advantage in risk taking, from bungee jumping to working in trading rooms, is so pervasive it may come as a shock to learn it's backed by very little recent scientific evidence. Read more.

Unmaking the myths of our gendered minds, by Mel Rumble

New Scientist, March 1, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

ONE of the best things about science is its ability to correct itself, spot flaws, poor evidence and bad claims, track the myths they spawn to their roots – and axe them. This process is vital, especially in areas such as race, IQ and gender, where false steps derail fields for years.

Take fruit fly experiments by British biologist Angus Bateman in the 1940s. These ended up underpinning many claims about evolved psychological differences between the sexes. One such was a theory by evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers, which claimed a bigger parental investment by females than males. Claims such as these fuelled myths such as men being more competitive or bigger risk-takers than women. Read more.

Why Testosterone Rex is extinct, by Cordelia Fine

The Guardian, February 26, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

When a baby is born, their sex is usually the first thing we want to know about them. The last thing you’re ever likely to forget about a person is whether they are male or female. We often think of biological sex as a fundamental force in human development that creates not just two kinds of reproductive system, but two kinds of people. Read more.

Not From Venus, Not From Mars: What We Believe About Gender and Why It's Often Wrong, by Annie Murphy Paul

The New York Times, February 23, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

If you hear a metallic rasp as you open the cover of Cordelia Fine’s new book, don’t be alarmed. It’s just the sound of the author sharpening her knives, the better to carve up the carcass of what she calls “Testosterone Rex”: the big, scaly body of assumptions, preconceptions, conjectures and distortions regarding “what men are like” and “what women are like.” Fine takes on this king of all biases with admirable vigor, and it’s a pleasure — albeit a strenuous one — to follow the action as she dismembers the beast. Read more.

Testosterone Rex by Cordelia Fine - men, women and myths, by Antonia Macar

Financial Times, February 18, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

I’m not sure whether there was ever a time when I believed that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. If there was, thankfully I don’t remember it. But after reading Cordelia Fine’s previous book, Delusions of Gender (2011), which I found totally convincing, even life-changing, and now her new one, I have become more acutely aware of just how hard it is to resist the insidious, mesmeric pull of the received story that she dubs “Testosterone Rex”. Read more.

China says it has stopped harvesting organs, but evidence belies its claim, by Wendy Rogers

The Conversation, February 15, 2017
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

The Chinese government has claimed the country no longer harvests organs from prisoners. But recent revelations about two leading Chinese researchers indicate this may not be true.

In 2005, China publicly stated what many already believed: that its transplant system was built on harvesting organs from criminals sentenced to death (“executed prisoners”). According to declarations by officials, this practice has been banned since January 2015, with organs now sourced from volunteer citizen donors. Read more.

Do religious beliefs respond to evidence? by Neil Levy

Imperfect Cognitions Blog, February 14, 2017
CAVE member, Neil Levy

There are two central strands to Neil Van Leeuwen’s post (hereafter NVL). One is the claim that there is a class of representational state (in the post he focuses on religious belief, but in his paper in Cognition he suggests that ideological beliefs belong to this class too) which fail to be evidentially vulnerable in the same way as more mundane beliefs. The second strand is the one developed in his paper in Philosophical Explorations, arguing that we best understand the limited signs of evidence responsiveness exhibited by these beliefs in terms of a kind of imaginative play. People who respond to evidence with regard to their religious beliefs typically do so because the apparent evidence is assigned a role within a circumscribed Evidence Game. Read more.

Sex selection via IVF in Australia: Sarah's journey to have a baby girl, by Kylie Matthews, February 13, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Tereza Hendl

ALL Sarah ever wanted was to have a baby girl to call her own.

Already mum to two young boys and unwilling to risk naturally conceiving a third, in 2011 Sarah and her family chose to travel from Australia to the United States for IVF to take advantage of highly accurate sex selection technology to achieve her dream.

After the birth of her first born child, a son, Sarah tells that she and her husband tried everything to naturally conceive a girl, but nothing worked. Read more.

Medical journal to retract paper after concerns organs came from executed prisoners, by Melissa Davey

The Guardian, February 9, 2017
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

A prestigious medical journal will retract a scientific paper from Chinese surgeons about liver transplantation after serious concerns were raised that the organs used in the study had come from executed prisoners of conscience.

The study was published last year in Liver International. It examined the outcomes of 564 liver transplantations performed consecutively at Zhejiang University’s First Affiliated hospital between April 2010 and October 2014. Read more.

Concerns over source of livers for transplant, by Cosmos Magazine

Cosmos Blog, February 9, 2017
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

Grisly news out of China, where a medical journal assessing the outcomes of liver transplants has been forced to retract a paper on concerns that organs came from executed prisoners.

The study was published last year in the prestigious journal Liver International. It looked at 564 liver transplantations performed at Zhejiang University’s First Affiliated hospital between April 2010 and October 2014.

The authors of the study wrote that “all organs were procured from donors after cardiac death and no allografts [organs and tissue] obtained from executed prisoners were used”. Read more.

A Chinese medical study is being retracted for relying on organs harvested from executed prisoners, by Ephrat Livni

The Quartz, February 9, 2017
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

Last year, a prestigious medical journal published research from Chinese surgeons involving 564 transplanted livers. Now, Liver International is retracting the study amid accusations that the livers were extracted from executed prisoners of conscience—people killed for their beliefs.

If the accusations are true, these Chinese researchers aren’t alone in using incarcerated humans for medical experiments. There’s a long and gruesome history of unethical medical organ harvesting. For example, in the early 19th century, a serial killer who made a living harvesting parts for doctors in England was sentenced to death and dissected for bits like his victims; even his skin was used to bind a book. Read more.

Vatican row as China invited to organ transplant meet, by AFP

Daily Mail Australia, February 8, 2017
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

Ethics experts and human rights lawyers slammed the Vatican for inviting a top Chinese health official to an organ trafficking summit despite concerns the Asian giant still uses tissue from executed prisoners.

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences invited Huang Jiefu, the man in charge of overhauling China's transplant system, to the two-day conference in the tiny city state.

Wendy Rogers, a medical ethics expert at Macquarie University in Australia and the chair of an advisory committee on tackling organ theft in China, slammed Huang's presence as "shocking". Read more.

Debate Flares Over China’s Inclusion at Vatican Organ Trafficking Meeting, by Didi Kirsten Tatlow

The New York Times, February 7, 2017
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

BEIJING — A politely worded but testy debate has flared over a Vatican conference on human organ trafficking, with a group of ethicists warning that China will use the participation of its most senior transplant official to convince the world that it has overhauled its organ procurement system.

In a letter to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Rome, where the two-day Summit on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism began on Tuesday, 11 ethicists wrote: “Our concern is with the harvesting and trafficking of organs from executed prisoners in China.” Read more.

Engaging with China on organ transplantation, by Wendy A Rogers, Matthew P Robertson, and Jacob Lavee

BMJ, February 7, 2017
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

Withdraw professional engagement pending transparency about procurement and accountability for past abuses.

In 2005, one of China’s most prominent liver transplant surgeons travelled to the far western province of Xinjiang. There he performed a highly complex autologous liver transplantation. The patient’s liver was explanted, the cancer excised, and the liver retransplanted.

As a backup to this innovative, risky procedure, the surgeon ordered two extra livers by phoning hospitals in Chongqing and Guangzhou. These were delivered the next morning. Such events are unimaginable in systems where organs are freely donated, scarce, and allocated according to need. In China in 2005, most organs for transplants came from executed prisoners. Read more.

    Top Chinese Transplant Surgeon has study retracted, by Larry Ong

    Epoch Times, February 7, 2017
    CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

    A medical journal has retracted a disputed study on liver transplantation co-authored by a Chinese doctor implicated in forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience, a move that acknowledges concerns over the Chinese regime’s murky transplantation system and may spur other journal editors to enforce stricter ethical guidelines, according to researchers.

    The disputed study, published in the journal Liver International in October 2016, analyzed 564 liver transplants at Zhejiang University’s First Affiliated Hospital from April 2010 to October 2014. Co-author Dr. Zheng Shusen and 16 other academics claimed in the paper that no organs were taken from executed prisoners. Read more.

    Vatican defends inviting Chinese ex-minister to organ trafficking talks, by Stephanie Kirchgaessner

    The Guardian, February 6, 2017
    CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

    Vatican officials have defended their decision to invite a Chinese former deputy health minister to a conference on organ trafficking despite concerns that China still relies on the organs of executed prisoners in its transplant programme.

    Medical ethics experts and human rights activists have decried the move by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to invite Huang Jiefu to a two-day conference starting on Tuesday that aims to expose organ trafficking and seeks to find “moral and appropriate solutions” to the issue. Read more.

    Chinese Transplant Doctor Accused of Ordering Executions Speaks at Vatican, by Larry Ong

    Epoch Times, February 6, 2017
    CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

    The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences has run into controversy for inviting a speaker linked to forced organ harvesting in China to present the regime’s narrative at the Vatican’s Summit on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism on Feb. 7 and 8.

    The summit was held in hopes of addressing the problems of organ trafficking and transplant tourism, but researchers of forced organ harvesting claimed it could end up giving the worst perpetrator of forced organ harvesting a propaganda victory. Read more.

    Study retraction reignites concerns over China's possible use of prisoner organs, by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

    ScienceMag, February 6, 2017
    CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

    A journal has decided to retract a 2016 study because of concerns that its data on the safety of liver transplantation involved organs sourced from executed prisoners in China. The action, taken despite a denial by the study’s authors that such organs were used, comes after clinical ethicist Wendy Rogers of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues authored a letter to the editor of Liver International on 30 January, calling for the paper’s retraction in the “absence of credible evidence of ethical sourcing of organs.” Read more.

    Exploding myths of gender, by Stuart Derbyshire

    Spiked Review, January 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Cordelia Fine’s excellent new book takes apart the idea that male and female behaviours are determined by evolution.

    I teach a course at the National University of Singapore on evolutionary psychology. I am critical of the field, but I did accept a central tenet of evolutionary psychology, which is that the greater biological investment of women into reproduction impacts the psychology and behaviour of men and women. The logic is compelling. In order to reproduce, women are obliged to become pregnant and give birth. Pregnancy is demanding. Often pregnant women suffer increased blood pressure as their bodies are forced to deliver more blood and nutrition to the fetus, and many suffer morning sickness. All pregnancies involve weight gain, stretching, difficulty moving and discomfort, which renders the woman less able to protect and feed herself. Then, at the end of pregnancy, there is the painful, exhausting and dangerous birth. Assuming the woman survives pregnancy and childbirth, there is breastfeeding, which can extend the period of discomfort and exhaustion for several more years. Read more.

    Testosterone Rex review: Cordelia Fine takes issue with the making of men, by Simon Caterson

    The Age, January 28, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Shortly before Christmas in 2014, then prime minister Tony Abbott responded to a campaign led by Greens senator Larissa Waters protesting against segregated store aisles of gendered toys with the retort that "boys will be boys and girls will be girls".

    According to Cordelia Fine, Abbott was not just being reactionary and insensitive. He was also plain wrong in terms of the current scientific understanding of the endlessly fluid association between sex and gender. Read more.

    The Science of Gender: No, Men Aren't From Mars and Women Aren't from Venus, by Barbara J. King

    NPR, January 26, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Testosterone Rex is extinct.

    That's the central conclusion of a fascinating new book by University of Melbourne psychologist Cordelia Fine. Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society hit the bookstores Tuesday.

    "Testosterone Rex" is a nickname for the view that women and men are essentially different, owing very largely to biology. The hormone testosterone is, in this view, a biological agent that makes men more liable to seek a variety of sexual partners, more prone to risk-taking, and so on. Read more.

    Breaking Away From the Gender Binary: A Q&A with 'Testosterone Rex' author Cordelia Fine, by Katie Klabusich

    Rewire, January 24, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Many people in our society have long argued that men and women have inherent traits thanks to our very natures. While some point to patriarchal interpretations of religion to prop up centuries-old myths, others have relied on faulty science to support their misguided assumptions about innate tendencies regarding power, sexual inclinations, and life goals.

    Out today, University of Melbourne professor Cordelia Fine‘s Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society does the public service of deconstructing the biological and societal tenets on which the continued inequality of the sexes is largely founded. Read more.

    How Testosterone Rex gave the differences between sexes a bad press, by Cordelia Fine

    The Sydney Morning Herald, January 21, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    One memorable evening, I mentioned over the family dinner that it was time to get our newly acquired dog de-sexed. At this point I should explain that my older son has a strange, unchild-like interest in taxidermy. Thus, ever since this boisterous, loving canine entered the household, my son has been campaigning for the dog, after it dies, to live on not just in our hearts, but in a tasteful, formaldehyde-preserved pose in the living-room. Read more.

    Testosterone Rex by Cordelia Fine review - the question of men's and women's brains, by Sarah Ditum

    The Guardian, January 18, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Cordelia Fine is an optimistic writer. In her two earlier books of popular neuroscience (A Mind of Its Own and Delusions of Gender), the psychologist established a reputation for exemplary clarity on complex topics, pleasing wit, feminist principle – and beneath it all, the animating faith that people can be improved through knowledge. Testosterone Rex starts with a quote from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists that establishes the Fine approach perfectly: “But in addition to being angry, I am also hopeful, because I believe deeply in the ability of humans to make and remake themselves for the better.” Read more.

    Liberal or Conservative? Most of our beliefs shift around, by Neil Levy

    The Conversation, January 17, 2017
    CAVE member, Neil Levy

    One common reaction to the election of Donald Trump (and perhaps to a lesser extent, the Brexit vote) among liberals like me is an expression of dismay that some of our fellow citizens are more racist and more sexist than we had dreamed. It seems many were prepared, if not to support openly racist comments and sexist actions, then at least to overlook them. It looks as though battles we thought we had won, having to do with a recognition of a basic kind of equality, need to be fought all over again. Many have concluded that they were never won at all; people were just waiting for a favourable climate to express the racism and sexism they held hidden. Read more.

    What can we learn from the Implicit Association Test? A Brains blog roundtable, by John Shwenkler

    The Brains Blog, January 17, 2017
    CAVE member, Neil Levy

    Recently there has been a lot of discussion of the value of the Implicit Association Test (IAT) as a measure of implicit bias — discussion generated largely by a new paper by Calvin Lai, Patrick Forscher and their colleagues that presents the results of a meta-analysis of studies conducted using the IAT, plus a provocative article in New York magazine by Jesse Singal that discusses that paper and the methodological controversy it’s a part of. The title of Singal’s article? “Psychology’s Favorite Tool for Measuring Racism Isn’t Up to the Job: Almost two decades after its introduction, the implicit association test has failed to deliver on its lofty promises”. (Please bear in mind that headlines are usually written by someone other than the author.) Read more.

    Book Excerpt from Testosterone Rex, by Cordelia Fine

    The Scientist, January 1, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Sometimes these days I’m introduced to people as an academic who wrote a book about how the brains of women and men aren’t that different. Disappointingly, the wide range of reactions to this brief biography has yet to include You must be Cordelia Fine! Would you sign this copy of your book that I carry around with me? Instead, people often shoot me a startled look, and then ask whether I’d also deny that there are other basic physiological differences between the sexes. Whenever this happens, I’m always tempted to fix my interrogator in the grip of a steely gaze and pronounce briskly, “Certainly! Testes are merely a social construction,” then see how the conversation flows from there. Read more.



    Another concept of race, by Joe Gelonesi

    The Philosopher's Zone, ABC Radio National, October 1, 2017
    CAVE Visitor Lionel McPherson

    It’s an idea at the heart of civil rights and revolution—but if we turn a philosophical eye to the concept of race, what do we find? Not much according Professor Lionel McPherson. A more useful concept, he believes, might be one grounded in socio-ancestry. We discuss how that might work—and how this alternative conception would affect the philosophy of race? Hear more.

    SCI PHI podcast - Colin Klein, by Nick Zautra

    SCI PHI podcast, June 15, 2017
    CAVE member Colin Klein

    On Episode 22, Nick chats with Colin Klein, Australian Research Council Future Fellow and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Macquarie University in Sydney, about engaging in pre-Reddit philosophical debates over the early internet, his humbling experience going from from a small liberal arts college to graduate study at Princeton, idealizing explanations in science, and why insects at least have a form of subjective experience. Hear more. (59 min)

    The effects of unconscious sexism in surgery, by Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

    Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, June 5, 2017
    CAVE member Katrina Hutchison

    Gender biases can be so subtle that often the behaviour is not obvious to victims or offenders alike. However, the consequences can be very real and, in surgery, quite devastating. Dr Katrina Hutchison is a Macquarie University Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy; her current project focuses on gender biases in surgery and their impact on both surgeons and patients.

    Systemic gender biases in the development, testing and approval of medical devices can have debilitating effects on patients. Dr Katrina Hutchison, from a paper she co-authored, examines two cases: hip prostheses and tissue repair meshes to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP). She discusses the impact of unconscious sexism in surgery and steps needed to raise awareness of this important issue. Hear more. (26 min)

    China's State Secret Revealed: Leading the World in Use of Death Penalty, by Miles P Herbert and Bronte Walker

    The Wire, April 11, 2017
    CAVE member Wendy Rogers

    Today, Human Rights Group Amnesty International released a report that identified China as the world’s leader in the use of the death penalty.

    In 2016, China executed more prisoners than all other countries in the world combined, but only 85 executions are registered on the national database.

    Amnesty International reveals that the extent of executions in China is far greater than China discloses. Hear more.

    Cordelia Fine pokes holes in old-fashioned ideas about testosterone and sexed brains, by Meghan Murphy

    Feminist Current, March 30, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Despite feminists’ best efforts, many people today believe that inequality between the sexes is natural, not cultural. They will often point to the behavior, clothing, or play of girls and boys to prove this; or they will point to hormones, like testosterone, as evidence that men are inherently violent, sexually aggressive, or more adventurous than women. Cordelia Fine’s work throws a wrench into all of that. In her new book, Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of Our Gendered Minds, Fine paints a far more complex picture of brains and the impacts of hormones on human beings.

    Fine is a psychologist and is also the author of Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference. I spoke with her over the phone last week. Hear more.

    Is it ethical to swallow a morality pill? by Anne Marie Tremonti

    The Current, CBC Radio, March 28, 2017
    CAVE member Neil Levy

    Imagine a pill that could make you a more "moral" person. Would you take it?

    Today, leading scientists are debating the ethics of just that — a pill that improves morality.

    In recent years, research has shown drugs widely prescribed to treat conditions like anxiety or depression have been found to amplify characteristics such as empathy, self-control and increased trust; even an improvement in attitudes towards people of other races. Hear more.

    Screen and intervene - neuroscience and risk, by Tom Switzer

    ABC RN Sunday Extra, March 12, 2017
    CAVE seminar speaker, Nikolas Rose

    Early intervention is a catch cry of modern life. If only we could get in early enough and deal with something before it becomes a problem, then we might avoid a much worse situation later. But it’s when you combine our desire to prevent bad things happening with developments in brain science and genetics that we get into to some tricky areas. So what are the pros and cons of human susceptibility towards violence or aggression in the age of neuroscience? Hear more.

    Neurotechnologies of Justice: Neuroscience beyond the courtroom, by Nikolas Rose

    Australian Neurolaw Database Soundcloud, March 7, 2017
    CAVE seminar speaker, Nikolas Rose

    In this talk I will explore the actual and potential impacts of developments in neuroscience and neurotechnology in the criminal justice system beyond the courtroom. There has beenmuch discussion about the role of genetics and brain scanning in criminal trials and their impact on the legal fiction of free will, although evidencethat genetic or brain based defences succeed in exculpation is equivocal. In this talk, I will focus elsewhere, and explore the impact of claims to be able to ‘read the brain’ in neural lie detection and beyond, the potential uses of novel neurotechnologies for risk assessment, preemptive intervention, and their role in ‘law enforcement’ and ‘crowd control’, and some questions arising from machine learning and artificial intelligence. The challenges posed by the ‘dual use’ potential of some advances in neuroscience, where technologies intended for civilian purposes also have military and security uses, are particularly significant at a time when the boundaries between the criminal justice and the wider security system are increasingly blurred. Hear more.

    Little Atoms Podcast 453: Cordelia Fine and Nichi Hodgson, by Little Atoms

    Little Atoms Podcast, February 14, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Cordelia Fine is a Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of much-acclaimed A Mind of Its Own (Icon, 2006) and Delusions of Gender (Icon, 2010), described as ‘a truly startling book’ by the Independent, ‘fun, droll yet deeply serious’ by New Scientist and an ‘important book … as enjoyable as it is timely and interesting’ by the West Australian. Her latest book is Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of Our Gendered Minds.

    This show also features a short interview with Nichi Hodgson on her book The Curious History of Dating. Hear more.

    The Gendered Mind, by Lynne Malcolm

    ABC RN All in The Mind, February 12, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Do men and women have fundamentally different minds? We’ve all heard stories about men being risk-takers and good at map reading, in contrast to women, who work best in the social and nurturing realm—but is that true, and how much of it is actually to do with biology and hormones? We re-examine the science to see if testosterone really is king when it comes to our gender formation. Hear more.

    Debate: Professor Gab Kovacs and Dr Tereza Hendl, by Jeremy Fernandez

    ABC Lateline, February 7, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Tereza Hendl

    Jeremy Fernandez hosts our Late Debate on the ethics of gender selection and whether it should be allowed in Australia. See more (or read transcript).

    Sexism, sport, and testosterone, by John Standish

    ABC Radio Melbourne, February 6, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Katrina Sedgwick is Jon Faine's co-host.  She is the Director and CEO of ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image), and was previously Head of Arts for ABC TV and online.

    Their first guest is academic psychologist and writer Cordelia Fine. She is a Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne and the author of Delusions of Gender and A Mind of Its Own.  Her latest book is Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the myths of our gendered minds (Icon Books). Hear more.

    Cordelia Fine and Testosterone - is it time we stop giving this hormone so much credit for how a man behaves? by Sarah Macdonald

    ABC RN Nightlife, February 3, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Much of our scientific understanding of gender was based for a long time on one scientist's study of fruit flies - a study that was later revisited, with many questions raised as to its accuracy. The study found males took more risks, were more promiscuous and that females were cautious about which flies they mated with. From everyday language to medical and scientific understanding, most of us see testosterone (and estrogen) and the defining characteristics of male and female. Sarah Macdonald sits down with author of "Testosterone Rex" Cordelia Fine, Professor of History & Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne. Hear more.


    Pioneering Minds: Wendy Rogers and Medical Ethics, by Macquarie Newsroom

    Pioneering Minds Podcast Series, December 14, 2016
    CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

    This week on the Pioneering Minds Podcast we speak to Professor Wendy Rogers from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, talking contemporary medical ethics, surgical innovation and the issues of over-diagnosis and organ matching. Listen and subscribe:


    Tens of thousands of organ transplants still performed by Chinese government: report, by Fran Kelly

    ABC RN Breakfast, November 23, 2016
    CAVE Public Lecturer, David Matas

    Ten years ago a controversial Canadian report brought the world's attention for the first time to a horrific allegation—that the Chinese government was secretly harvesting organs from political prisoners, including many followers of the spiritual practice known as Falun Gong. Hear more.

    Nicole Vincent on Neurointerventions and Human Happiness, by John Danaher

    Algocracy and the Transhumanist Project, November 21, 2016
    CAVE affiliate member Nicole Vincent

    In this episode I talk to Nicole Vincent. Nicole is an international philosopher extraordinaire. She has appointments at Georgia State University, TU Delft (Netherlands) and Macquarie University (Sydney). Nicole’s work focuses on the philosophy of responsibility, cognitive enhancement and neuroethics. We talk about two main topics: (i) can neuroscience make us happier? and (ii) how should we think about radically changing ourselves through technology? Hear more.

    Australia's True Colours - What is Racism? by Ellie Cooper

    Probono Australia, October 11, 2016
    CAVE members Albert Atkin and Neil Levy

    Australia’s racism has roots in its history of colonisation and migration, and, until recent years, racist policies and practices were embedded within Australian laws and institutions, and the debate has become tied up with national identity.

    In the first episode in a three-part series, Australia’s True Colours, Not for Podcast investigates what racism is and where it comes from to ultimately find out, is Australia racist? Hear more.

    Judging Remorse, by Rachel Carbonell

    Law Report, ABC Radio National, September 27, 2016
    CAVE member, Kate Rossmanith

    How do judges and magistrates tell if someone is genuinely remorseful?

    Is remorse legally defined?

    An interdisciplinary research initiative with academics from legal philosophy, forensic psychology and cultural studies is investigating how remorse is evaluated in the courts. Hear more.

    Pioneering Minds: Why our brains make us who (and what) we are: Prof. Greg Downey, by Macquarie Newsroom

    Pioneering Minds Podcast Series, August 11, 2016
    CAVE member, Greg Downey

    Are we all the same, deep down, or do our specific circumstances create fundamental differences between us?

    This is the question neuroanthropologist Professor Greg Downey seeks to answer, and he discusses it at length in this week’s Pioneering Minds podcast.

    Professor Downey also discusses how culture informs us, the vital importance of research, and the fact that without our amazing brains, we would just be “fairly untalented, hairless apes.” Yep.

    You can listen now on iTunes or Soundcloud.

    From Macquarie Newsroom.

    The pleasure-pain paradox, by Joe Gelonesi

    The Philosopher's Zone, ABC Radio National, June 5, 2016
    CAVE Visitors, Michael Brady, David Bain, and Jennifer Corns

    Pain is a puzzle; and so is pleasure. For instance, how do you deal with the phenomenon of a pain that doesn’t hurt, or the pleasures for some of masochism? Yes, there are evolutionary and neuroscientific explanations, but somehow they don’t seem to tell the full story. Enter the philosophers, for whom the pleasure-pain paradox needs to be solved. Hear more.

    Neuroscience and Criminal Punishment, by Jennie Lenman

    Breakfast on Radio Adelaide, 101.5FM Radio Adelaide Digital, May 27, 2016
    CAVE member, Jeanette Kennett

    Researchers say that neuroscience could change the way the way Australian law punishes criminals. Should this happen and how are judges currently dealing with advances in neurological explanations for behaviour? Professor Jeanette Kennett holds a joint appointment between the Department of Philosophy and the Centre for Cognitive Science at Macquarie University and she joined us to discuss. Hear more.

    The discovery of insect consciousness, by Michael Mackenzie

    Afternoons, ABC Radio National, April 22, 2016
    CAVE member, Colin Klein

    Have you ever got up close and personal with an ant and really taken a look at what it's doing?

    Did it make you wonder whether that ant was thinking and reflecting about its experience as it moved that crumb across the picnic blanket?

    Well a new theoretical paper proposes that insects such as ants and bees do think and actually demonstrate a kind of consciousness.

    It suggests that by studying the brains and behaviour of these creatures we can learn more about the evolution of our own human thought processes. Hear more.

    Neurolaw, by Lynne Malcolm

    All in the Mind, ABC Radio National, April 10, 2016
    CAVE member, Jeanette Kennett

    Can problems in your brain make you commit a crime? And if so, how much responsibility is yours? These are the complex questions being raised by the emerging field of neurolaw. Brain imaging and other neuroscientific evidence is now being brought forward in legal cases—and sometimes mitigating a sentence. This week on All in the Mind, neurolaw experts from the United States and Australia tease out some of the thorny issues. Hear more.

    Pioneering Minds: Jeanette Kennett and Neuroethics, by Macquarie Newsroom

    Pioneering Minds Podcast Series, February 24, 2016
    CAVE member, Jeanette Kennett

    This week’s guest, Professor Jeanette Kennett from the Department of Philosophy, is a pioneer of neurolaw – a new interdisciplinary field that investigates the relationship between neuroscience and law. In her interview with Ben Mckelvey she discusses the implications of this on moral agency, criminality and culpability, the establishment of the neurolaw database, and how she was drawn to questions of justice. Listen to this episode and subscribe to the series through iTunes or SoundCloud.

    From the Macquarie Newsroom.

    Colin Klein, What the Body Commands: An Imperative Theory of Pain, by Carrie Figdor

    New Books in Philosophy, January 15, 2016
    CAVE member, Colin Klein

    Nothing seems so obviously true as the claim that pains feel bad, that pain and suffering go together. Almost as obviously, it seems that the function of pain is to inform us of tissue damage. In What the Body Commands: The Imperative Theory of Pain (The MIT Press, 2015), Colin Klein denies both apparently obvious claims. On his view, pain is a "protective imperative" whose content is to protect the body or body part: for example, "Don't put weight on that left ankle!". Klein, Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Macquarie University, discusses the problem of pain asymbolia, in which people report feeling pain but are not the least bit motivated to do anything about it; considers how to explain masochistic pleasure, where we deliberately act in ways that do not protect the body; and addresses the question: why do pains (typically, but contingently) hurt? Hear more.

    For stories from previous years, please see our media archive.

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