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Christopher Mayes

Senior Research Fellow, Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin University

Christopher Mayes is a Senior Research Fellow in the Alfred Deakin Institute and Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Deakin University. He is an interdisciplinary scholar with disciplinary backgrounds in sociology, philosophy and history. His research interests include food ethics, the history of bioethics in Australia, and social and political theory.

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

In 2017, he received a Discovery Early Career Research Award from the Australian Research Council to research the 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.

He is a member of The Australian Sociological Association, Australian Historical Association, the Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy, the Australasian Association for Bioethics and Health Law and the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine.


  • 2017–present
    Research Fellow, Deakin University
  • 2013–2017
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Sydney
  • 2011–2013
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Pennsylvania State University


  • 2012 
    University of Sydney, PhD, Medicine
  • 2007 
    University of New South Wales, Hons, Philosophy

Grants and Contracts

  • 2017
    Bioethics in the Antipodes: a history of Australian bioethics since 1980
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council

Research Areas

  • Social Philosophy (220319)
  • Bioethics (Human And Animal) (220101)
  • Rural Sociology (160804)
  • Political Theory And Political Philosophy (160609)
  • Health Promotion (111712)