Science: How do we ensure that it helps us without harming us?

Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, proudly presents

Professor Thérèse Murphy, Director of the Health & Human Rights Unit, Queen's University Belfast 

a Holding Redlich Distinguished Visiting Fellow

Date:    9 March 2016
   6pm to 7.15pm
Venue: Monash University Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
RSVP: or telephone 03 9905 3327

Public event - all welcome

ELSI—which stands for ethical, legal and social implications—is widely seen as one way to encourage what is now known as 'good science'. It is said that by asking about ELSI we encourage science and technology, and also regulation, that will benefit health and humanity and reduce or prevent the risk of harm. 

But ELSI is not the only option for ensuring that science and technology lead to beneficial outcomes and not harmful ones.  Other options add historical, political, economic and theological foci, and there is also increasing talk of 'responsible research and innovation'. We might also make direct reference to ethics, to justice or indeed to morality. There are, in short, lots of ELSI substitutes—each designed to secure the end goal of good science.  

In this public lecture, Professor Thérèse Murphy, asks: where do law and lawyers—and human rights law and lawyers in particular—sit within ELSI and its companions?

Thérèse Murphy is Professor of Law and Director of the Health & Human Rights Unit at Queen's University Belfast. Previously she worked at the University of Nottingham, where she co-founded the Economic & Social Rights Unit within the Human Rights Law Centre. She has held visiting appointments at the EUI and Toronto; she has also been a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard Law School. She is a longstanding member of the editorial board of the Human Rights Law Review and her own publications include Health and Human Rights, the edited collections New Technologies and Human Rights and European Law and New Health Technologies, as well as a forthcoming collection on the UN Special Procedures.

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