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Dr Christopher Mayes



Research Fellow (DECRA)


Faculty of Arts and Education


Alfred Deakin Institute


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus



Christopher Mayes is a Research Fellow in the Alfred Deakin Institute at Deakin University and Research-Affiliate in Sydney Health Ethics at the University of Sydney. He is an interdisciplinary scholar with disciplinary backgrounds in sociology and philosophy. His research interests include sociology of health and food, bioethics, and social and political theory. He is the author of 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. His forthcoming monograph, Unsettling Food Politics: agriculture, dispossession, and sovereignty in Australia (Rowman & Littlefield International), examines contemporary political and ethical discourses of food and agriculture in Australia.

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) aims to provide a comprehensive account of bioethics in Australia. Using archival sources, interviews, and theoretical analysis, this project will advance understanding about the distinctive local and global contributions of Australian bioethics to regulatory frameworks, legal reform, and public discourse.

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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) where he remains a Research-Affliate. 


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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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


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


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

C Mayes

(2020), pp. 1-11, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Berlin, Germany, C1


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


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, Chichester, Eng., C1


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


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

Quinn Grundy, Roojin Habibi, Adrienne Shnier, Christopher Mayes, Wendy Lipworth

(2018), Vol. 122, pp. 509-518, Health policy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1


Unsettling food politics: agriculture, dispossession and sovereignty in Australia

Christopher Mayes

(2018), London, Eng., A1


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


Conflicts of interest in medicine: taking diversity seriously

Jane Williams, Christopher Mayes, Paul Komesaroff, Ian Kerridge, Wendy Lipworth

(2017), Vol. 47, pp. 739-746, Internal medicine journal, Chichester, Eng., C1-1


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


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

Jane Williams, Wendy Lipworth, Christopher Mayes, Ian Olver, Ian Kerridge

(2017), Vol. 51, pp. 1232-1240, Medical education, Chichester, Eng., C1-1


Food at the nexus of bioethics and biopolitics

C Mayes

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


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, C1-1


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


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


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

C Mayes

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


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


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


The biopolitics of lifestyle: Foucault, ethics and healthy choices

C Mayes

(2015), Abingdon, Eng., A1


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


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


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


Medicalization of eating and feeding

C Mayes

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


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


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


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: $11,692


No completed student supervisions to report