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Dr Christopher Mayes



Senior Lecturer, Philosophy


Faculty of Arts and Education


School of Hum & Social Science


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus



Christopher Mayes is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences and the co-convener of the Philosophy and History of Ideas research group. 

He is an interdisciplinary scholar with disciplinary backgrounds in sociology, history and philosophy. His research interests include history and philosophy of healthcare, sociology of health and food, and bioethics.

He is the author of two books. The Biopolitics of Lifestyle: Foucault, Ethics, and Healthy Choices (Routledge, 2016), which critically explores the use of lifestyle rhetoric and policies to govern individual choice and secure population health from the threat of obesity. Unsettling Food Politics: agriculture, dispossession, and sovereignty in Australia (Rowman & Littlefield International, 2018), examines contemporary political and ethical discourses of food and agriculture in Australia.

Chris is currently developing a book manuscript based on his research on the history of bioethics in Australia. This book explores the way bioethics contributed to the changing nature of moral authority in Australia in the latter part of the 20th century.

In 2017, he received a Discovery Early Career Research Award from the Australian Research Council to research the social history of bioethics in Australia. Bioethics in the Antipodes: a history of Australian bioethics since 1980 (DE170100550). This project aims to provide a comprehensive account of bioethics in Australia and uses archival sources, interviews, and theoretical analysis. The project seeks to advance understanding about the distinctive local and global contributions of Australian bioethics to regulatory frameworks, legal reform, and public discourse. 

Read more on Christopher's profile

Biography summary

Christopher joined Deakin in 2017, having previous held research fellowships at the Rock Ethics Institute (Pennsylvania State University) and Sydney Health Ethics (University of Sydney). 


The Australian Sociological Association

Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy

Australasian Association for Bioethics and Health Law

Society for Social Studies of Science


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Vigilance in infectious disease emergencies: Expanding the concept

Jane Williams, Christopher Mayes, Eamon Flint-Peterson, Chris Degeling

(2024), Vol. 344, pp. 1-7, Social Science and Medicine, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Environmental Injustices within Us: The Case of the Human Microbiome and the Need for More Creative Bioethics

Christopher Mayes, Nicolae Morar

(2024), Vol. 24, pp. 67-70, American Journal of Bioethics, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Forgetting how we ate: personalised nutrition and the strategic uses of history

Christopher Mayes, Maurizio Meloni

(2024), Vol. 46, pp. 1-26, History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal article

Medicine in the marketplace: clinician and patient views on commercial influences on assisted reproductive technology

Siun Gallagher, Sara Attinger, Angie Sassano, Elizabeth Sutton, Ian Kerridge, Ainsley Newson, Bobbie Farsides, Karin Hammarberg, Roger Hart, Emily Jackson, William Ledger, Christopher Mayes, Catherine Mills, Sarah Norcross, Robert Norman, Luk Rombauts, Catherine Waldby, Anusch Yazdani, Wendy Lipworth

(2024), Vol. 48, pp. 1-9, Reproductive BioMedicine Online, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

The Pandemic Boom of Urban Agriculture: Challenging the Role of Resiliency in Transforming our Future Urban (Food) Systems

A Sassano, C Mayes, Y Paradies

(2023), Vol. 41, pp. 84-97, Urban Policy and Research, C1

journal article

Healthy Eating Policy: Racial Liberalism, Global Connections and Contested Science

C Mayes

(2023), Vol. 8, pp. 1-, Food Ethics, Switzerland, C1

journal article

Race and place-making in the rural Global North

V Stead, R Butler, C Mayes

(2023), Vol. 97, pp. 1-8, Journal of Rural Studies, C1

journal article

Going the Distance: Ethics of Space and Location on Accessing Reproductive Services in Australia

A Sassano, C Mayes, I Kerridge, W Lipworth

(2023), Vol. 20, pp. 225-235, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal article

Against Consumer Ethics

Christopher Mayes, Angie Sassano

(2022), pp. 155-164, Beyond Global Food Supply Chains, Singapore, B1

book chapter

Response-Belonging, Interdisciplinarity, and Fragmentation: On the Conditions for a Bioethical Discourse Community

C Mayes

(2022), Vol. 19, pp. 79-84, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Netherlands, C1

journal article

Co-producing Bioethics: How Biomedical Scientists and Applied Philosophers Established Bioethics in Australia

Christopher Mayes

(2022), Vol. 00, pp. 1-24, Social History of Medicine, Oxford, Eng., C1

journal article

Situating the Father: Strengthening Interdisciplinary Collaborations between Sociology, History and the Emerging POHaD Paradigm

Christopher Mayes, Elsher Lawson-Boyd, Maurizio Meloni

(2022), Vol. 14, pp. 1-12, Nutrients, Basel, Switzerland, C1

journal article

Race, Reproduction, and Biopolitics: A Review Essay

C Mayes

(2021), Vol. 18, pp. 99-107, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Netherlands, C1

journal article

Nano White Food and the Reproduction of Whiteness


(2021), Vol. 20, pp. 207-235, Borderlands Journal, C1

journal article

Conflict of interest as ethical shorthand: understanding the range and nature of "non-financial conflict of interest" in biomedicine

Q Grundy, C Mayes, K Holloway, S Mazzarello, B Thombs, L Bero

(2020), Vol. 120, pp. 1-7, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Governmentality of Fencing in Australia: Tracing the White Wires from Paddocks to Aboriginal Protection, Pest Exclusion and Immigration Restriction

C Mayes

(2020), Vol. 41, pp. 42-59, Journal of Intercultural Studies, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

After Conflicts of Interest: From Procedural Short-Cut to Ethico-Political Debate

C Mayes

(2020), Vol. 17, pp. 245-255, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal article

White Medicine, White Ethics: On the Historical Formation of Racism in Australian Healthcare

Christopher Mayes

(2020), Vol. 44, pp. 287-302, Journal of Australian Studies, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Conflicts of interest in Australia's IVF industry: an empirical analysis and call for action

B Blakely, J Williams, C Mayes, I Kerridge, W Lipworth

(2019), Vol. 22, pp. 230-237, Human fertility, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1

journal article

Unsettling food politics: agriculture, dispossession and sovereignty in Australia

Christopher Mayes

(2018), London, Eng., A1


Conflicted hope: social egg freezing and clinical conflicts of interest

C Mayes, J Williams, W Lipworth

(2018), Vol. 27, pp. 45-59, Health sociology review, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Scientism, conflicts of interest, and the marginalization of ethics in medical education

C Mayes, J Williams, I Kerridge, W Lipworth

(2018), Vol. 24, pp. 939-944, Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, England, C1

journal article

Fiscal policy to improve diets and prevent noncommunicable diseases: from recommendations to action

A Thow, S Downs, C Mayes, H Trevena, T Waqanivalu, J Cawley

(2018), Vol. 96, pp. 201-210, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, C1

journal article

Decoding disclosure: Comparing conflict of interest policy among the United States, France, and Australia

Q Grundy, R Habibi, A Shnier, C Mayes, W Lipworth

(2018), Vol. 122, pp. 509-518, Health Policy, Ireland, C1

journal article

A code of ethics for social marketing? Bridging procedural ethics and ethics-in-practice

S Carter, C Mayes, L Eagle, S Dahl

(2017), Vol. 29, pp. 20-38, Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, Philadelphia, Pa., C1

journal article

Conflicts of interest in medicine: taking diversity seriously

J Williams, C Mayes, P Komesaroff, I Kerridge, W Lipworth

(2017), Vol. 47, pp. 739-746, Internal Medicine Journal, Australia, C1-1

journal article

Debates about conflict of interest in medicine: deconstructing a divided discourse

Serena Purdy, Miles Little, Christopher Mayes, Wendy Lipworth

(2017), Vol. 14, pp. 135-149, Journal of bioethical inquiry, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

Should disclosure of conflicts of interest in medicine be made public? Medical students' views

J Williams, W Lipworth, C Mayes, I Olver, I Kerridge

(2017), Vol. 51, pp. 1232-1240, Medical Education, England, C1-1

journal article

Health Professionals "Make Their Choice": Pharmaceutical Industry Leaders' Understandings of Conflict of Interest

Q Grundy, L Tierney, C Mayes, W Lipworth

(2017), Vol. 14, pp. 541-553, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

Food at the nexus of bioethics and biopolitics

C Mayes

(2016), pp. 167-177, Routledge handbook of food ethics, Abingdon, Eng., B1

book chapter

Declarations, accusations and judgement: examining conflict of interest discourses as performative speech-acts

C Mayes, W Lipworth, I Kerridge

(2016), Vol. 19, pp. 455-462, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

Conflicts of interest in neoliberal times: perspectives of Australian medical students

C Mayes, I Kerridge, R Habibi, W Lipworth

(2016), Vol. 25, pp. 256-271, Health sociology review, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

On the fragility of medical virtue in a neoliberal context: the case of commercial conflicts of interest in reproductive medicine

C Mayes, B Blakely, I Kerridge, P Komesaroff, I Olver, W Lipworth

(2016), Vol. 37, pp. 97-111, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

The biopolitics of lifestyle: Foucault, ethics and healthy choices

C Mayes

(2015), Abingdon, Eng., A1


What should we eat? Biopolitics, ethics, and nutritional scientism

C Mayes, D Thompson

(2015), Vol. 12, pp. 587-599, Journal of bioethical inquiry, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal article

The political and ethical challenge of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis

C Degeling, C Mayes, W Lipworth, I Kerridge, R Upshur

(2015), Vol. 12, pp. 107-113, Journal of bioethical inquiry, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal article

Revisiting Foucault's 'normative confusions': surveying the debate since the Collège de France lectures

C Mayes

(2015), Vol. 10, pp. 841-855, Philosophy compass, Chichester, Eng., C1-1

journal article

Impure politics and pure science: efficacious ebola medications are only a palliation and not a cure for structural disadvantage

C Degeling, J Johnson, C Mayes

(2015), Vol. 15, pp. 43-45, American journal of bioethics, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

The harm of bioethics: a critique of Singer and Callahan on obesity

C Mayes

(2015), Vol. 29, pp. 217-221, Bioethics, Chichester, Eng., C1-1

journal article

Medicalization of eating and feeding

C Mayes

(2014), pp. 1-8, Encyclopedia of food and agricultural ethics, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, B1-1

book chapter

Medicalization of Eating and Feeding

Christopher Mayes

(2014), pp. 1371-1378, Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, B1-1

book chapter

Governing through choice: food labels and the confluence of food industry and public health discourse to create 'healthy consumers'

C Mayes

(2014), Vol. 12, pp. 376-395, Social theory & health, Basingstoke, Eng., C1

journal article

Don't be scared, be angry: the politics and ethics of Ebola

L Hooker, C Mayes, C Degeling, G Gilbert, I Kerridge

(2014), Vol. 201, pp. 352-354, Medical journal of Australia, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

journal article

An agrarian imaginary in urban life: cultivating virtues and vices through a conflicted history

C Mayes

(2014), Vol. 27, pp. 265-286, Journal of agricultural and environmental ethics, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Is nutritional advocacy morally indigestible? A critical analysis of the scientific and ethical implications of 'healthy' food choice discourse in liberal societies

C Mayes, D Thompson

(2014), Vol. 7, pp. 158-169, Public health ethics, Oxford, Eng., C1-1

journal article

Pastoral power and the confessing subject in patient-centred communication

C Mayes

(2009), Vol. 6, pp. 483-493, Journal of bioethical inquiry, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Bioethics in the Antipodes: a history of Australian bioethics since 1980

Dr Christopher Mayes

ARC DECRA - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

  • 2019: $127,049
  • 2018: $124,937
  • 2017: $126,266

Addressing Commercial Influences on Assisted Reproductive Technology

Dr Wendy Lipworth, A/Prof Ian Kerridge, Prof William Ledger, Prof Robert Norman, A/Prof Ainsley Newson, Prof Cameron Stewart, Prof Isabel Karpin, Prof Catherine Mills, Prof Catherine Waldby, Dr Christopher Mayes

NHMRC - Ideas Grant

  • 2020: $46,770

Artificial Intelligence, Robots, and Agriculture: Social and ethical issues

A/Prof Robert Sparrow, Dr Christopher Mayes, Dr Christopher Degeling

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2024: $17,152
  • 2023: $15,810
  • 2022: $42,243


Principal Supervisor

Matteo Stettler

Thesis entitled: Aristotle¿s Protrepticus in the Christian Tradition: On Ancient Spirituality and its History

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Executive Supervisor

Angie Sassano

Thesis entitled: Decolonising Alternative Food Movements: Rethinking Settler Responsibility and Solidarity

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Associate Supervisor

Bhanuraj Kashyap

Thesis entitled: Levinas and Singer: A Dialogue on Reasons, Suffering and Compassion

Master of Arts, School of Humanities and Social Sciences