Ethics Centre of South Australia launched

Thursday, 24 November 2005

Ethics is the starting point for every action we take.

New ethical questions appear daily as technology and science, the political landscape, and the nature of doing business shift at ever-increasing speed.

The big signposts like September 11 provoke thought and discussion about terrorism; what are reasonable ways to deal with new threats to security, and what are the justifications for declaring war?

This blossoms out to questions that affect all of us in our daily lives: about immigration, foreign aid, racism, everyone's right to privacy and personal freedom - questions that go to the heart of what we mean by a good life and a fair society.

The Ethics Centre of South Australia (ECSA), launched today, sees the State's three universities working together to develop focused, high profile and socially-oriented research in a field that is central to contemporary Australian society.

"Universities are uniquely placed to provide leadership to stimulate community debate on ethical matters. It is the role of our researchers and educators to create new knowledge, communicate that knowledge and to serve the community," said Professor James McWha, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide at ECSA's launch.

"With an agenda of research, education and community engagement, ECSA's researchers will explore ethical issues in seven broad research areas: healthcare; professional practice; public policy; science and technology; research ethics; ethical theory; and Indigenous ethics," he added.

Associate Professor Wendy Rogers, Interim Joint Director of ECSA, who teaches Medical Ethics and Health Law at Flinders University, said: "ECSA's aim is to develop a leadership role in the field of ethics within South Australia and to achieve prominence both nationally and internationally.

"We have worked hard across the creation of the centre to keep a balance between the three member institutions in order to create an environment where collegial debate and collaborative education and research can take place.

"We see ECSA as a great resource for business and government, as well as a place that recognises the importance of training in ethics both within and outside of the University environment."

Initial funding will come from the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and the University of South Australia, with support from the State Government. This will be supplemented by research income and consulting activities, and ECSA aims to attract Australian Research Council and NHMRC funding as it develops capacity and profile. Other important research funding will come through contract research activities with the State Government and industry groups.

ECSA will be based at the SA Department of Health,
Level 10 Citicentre Building, 11-13 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide SA 5001.

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Contact Details

Professor Annette Braunack-Mayer
Head, School of Population Health
The University of Adelaide
Business: + 61 8 8313 3569
Mobile: +61 (0)410 221 514

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762