Who Owns Your DNA?
Ground Floor, Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street
T: 9035 1111
HeLEX Research Program Launch
Panel discussion chaired by Professor Jane Kaye and presented by Richard Vines, Professor Emma Kowal, Dr Wendy Bonython and Christine Kenneally.
With ever more people undergoing DNA testing for health reasons, as part of scientific research, to trace their family tree or just for ‘fun’, the question of who owns our DNA has become of critical importance. While intuitively we think we own our DNA, the legal position is quite different. Attention to this issue has grown as the commercial value of DNA and tissue and samples becomes more evident.
‘Who Owns Your DNA?’ is a public event to launch a new research program on law, health and emerging technologies at Melbourne Law School that brings together researchers from the University of Melbourne and the University of Oxford. The event will showcase some of Australia’s leading thinkers on these issues, drawing on perspectives from law and ethics, biomedicine, history, anthropology and patient advocacy.
Professor Jane Kaye , Director
Professor Jane Kaye
Centre for Health, Law and Emerging Technologies (HeLEX)
Professor Jane Kaye is the Director of the Centre for Health, Law and Emerging Technologies (HeLEX) in the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford and Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne. She is on a number of international expert committees and scientific advisory boards. She was on the Nuffield Council Bioethics Working Group on Biodata 2015 and Rapporteur for the EC Expert Report, Biobanks for Europe The Challenges for Governance June 2012. She is on the Editorial Boards of Law, Innovation and Technology, the Journal of Law and Information Science and Life Sciences, Society and Policy. Professor Kay is a graduate of the Australian National University (BA), University of Melbourne (LLB) and University of Oxford (D.Phil). Her team are leading on the Dynamic Consent project and she is one of the leaders in the ELSI 2.0 Global Initiative.
Christine Kenneally , Author and Journalist
Author and Journalist
Christine Kenneally wrote The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures, about which The New York Times said: "The breadth of this book; its abundance of enthralling accounts and astonishing science; its adept, vivid writing; and Kenneally’s exquisitely calibrated judgment make it the richest, freshest, most fun book on genetics in some time." Kenneally is an awardwinning journalist and author who has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Slate, Time, New Scientist, The Monthly, and other publications. She also wrote The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Before becoming a reporter, she received a PhD in Linguistics from Cambridge University and a B.A. (Hons) in English and Linguistics from Melbourne University. She is currently a contributing editor for Buzzfeed News and lives in Melbourne.
Dr Wendy Bonython, Associate Professor
Dr Wendy Bonython
University of Canberra
Dr Wendy Bonython is an Associate Professor at the School of Law and Justice, in the Faculty of Business Government and Law at the University of Canberra. Her research and teaching interests focus on torts, and health and biotechnology law and ethics. She has postgraduate qualifications in law and molecular medicine, and prior to entering academia, she worked in clinical research and health administration in the public sector.
Professor Emma Kowal, Professor of Anthropology
Professor Emma Kowal
Professor of Anthropology
Emma Kowal is Professor of Anthropology in the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University, and Convener of the Deakin Science and Society Network. She is a cultural anthropologist who previously worked as a medical doctor and public health researcher in Indigenous health. Her research focuses on the cultural and ethical implications of genomics in Indigenous settings. She was convener of the AsiaPacific Science, Technology and Society network and is on the National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science of the Australian Academy of Science. She received the 2014 Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia Paul Bourke Award for Early Career Research and a 2015 Thomson Reuters Women in Research Citation Award.
Richard Vines, CEO
Rare Cancers Australia
Richard attended University of Melbourne where he studied maths and statistics. He then trained as an Actuary but was inspired to join the fledging IT industry before qualifying. After several years working in software development, Richard formed his own software company which he then sold in 1990 before embarking on a second software venture in Europe. In 1996, Richard returned to Australia where he was retained by an American company to establish a sales channel in Australia. In 2001, Richard left IT to work in a number of notforprofits associated with retail, politics and health. In 2012 Richard and his wife Kate established Rare Cancers Australia, a patient advocacy group, whose mission is to improve the lives and outcomes for rare cancer patients. Richard is now a highly sort after spokesperson for cancer patient advocacy issues.