John Gardner


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Research activity per year

Personal profile


John Gardner is a sociologist and STS (Science & Technology Studies) scholar with an interest in bioethics, the ethics of medical innovation and the future of healthcare. He is the Director of the Monash Bioethics Centre.

John’s research agenda is broadly aimed at supporting responsible research and innovation in biomedicine and healthcare. As a sociologist, his work explores the organisational and social contexts that shape innovation processes, and the ethical challenges that arise as new health technologies are implemented in real-life healthcare settings. He works within interdisciplinary teams and collaborates with clinicians, hospital managers, and patient and community groups to support the development of equitable, patient-centred care.

John’s work has focused on a number areas of medicine and healthcare. This includes translational neuroscience and neurotechnologies such as deep brain stimulation (DBS). His monograph Rethinking the Clinical Gaze (2017) draws on ethnographic research of a pioneering paediatric neurology team, examinig how to implement promising new treatments within patient-centred clinical services. He has also focused on the emerging field of regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies. With Professor Andrew Webster, he developed an Institutional Readiness framework which has been used by UK Hospital organisations to responsibly prepare for the implementation of new regenerative medicine treatments.  More recently he has focused on the area of digital health and computational medicine. John recently worked with a large, world-leading hospital organisation to advance their strategy for data-driven healthcare.

A major, long-term research agenda is ‘Hospitals of the Future’. John’s work in this area explores how public hospitals attempt to fulfil multiple, sometimes conflicting societal roles (e.g as places of care, places of innovation) in a context of highly constrained resources. In his current ARC DECRA fellowship, he is engaging with hospital stakeholders to identify ways in which hospitals can responsibly evolve to meet anticipated societal challenges. John is currently a member of Monash’s ‘Future Healthcare’ working group.

Other areas of interest include the relationship between architecture and well-being, particularly in relationship to neurodivergence. He recently coedited the Neurodivergence an Architecture volume with Anthony Clarke (Monash, Architecture) and Jos Boys (UCL), as part of Elsevier’s Developments in Neuroethics and Bioethics book series edited by Judy Illes (University of British Columbia).

John’s research has been funded by a number of agencies, including the Wellcome Trust, the Australian Research Council, the UK Economic and Social Research Council, and the Medical Research Future Fund.

John obtained his Wellcome Trust-funded PhD from Brunel University London in 2014.  He undertook postdoctoral research in the Science & Technology Studies Unit (SATSU) at the University of York (UK) before joining the School of Social Sciences as a Health & Biofutures Research Fellow in 2017. He has training in both science and social sciences, with degrees from Victoria University of Wellington, NZ (MA, BA Hons) and University of Otago, NZ (BSc).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Research area keywords

  • Medical Sociology
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Bioethics
  • Neurotechnologies
  • Psychedelics in society

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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