About Associate Professor Christopher Jordens

Chris Jordens is passionate about research into health, illness and medicine that asks philosophical questions, puts human experience centre-stage, and explores issues relating to ethics, communication and social interaction.

Chris Jordens completed an honours degree in philosophy and a masters degree in public health at the University of Sydney in 1989 and 1998 respectively. For his masters treatise, he conducted the first survey in Australia to determine the uptake of systematic reviews by medical specialists. The findings were published in the Medical Journal of Australia in 1998.
Chris taught epidemiology and biostatistics in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine in 1995 and 1996 and then took up a research position at the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (VELiM) when it was first established in 1997 by the philosopher, poet and Emeritus Professor of Surgery, Miles Little. Chris won a Foundation Scholarship in Surgical Ethics from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1997 and 1998 and increasingly specialised in qualitative research during the late '90s. The Centre's interview-based research with cancer survivors was distilled into a book called Surviving Survival (Sydney: Choice Books, 2001) which inspired a 4-Corners television documentary by the same name (screened in 2000) and another documentary called Living On (screened in 2005).
Chris completed a PhD in 2002 under the supervision of Professor JR Martin in the department of linguistics at the University of Sydney. Some of the findings were reported in Social Science & Medicine in 2001 and 2004. Soon after he co-edited a compilation of philosophical writings by Miles Little called Restoring humane values to medicine: A Miles Little reader (Sydney: Desert Pea Press).
In the early 2000s Chris played a key role in creating a new postgraduate teaching program in bioethics and a new international, interdisciplinary journal of bioethics called the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. He was founding co-editor-in-chief for the journal's first 4 volumes (2004-2007), which contained 56 full-length research articles. He also served on the journal's board and executive. The journal achieved an "A" ranking in ERA, and in 2009 it had an Impact Factor of 0.357 (Journal Citation Reports, Thomson Reuters).
Chris was appointed Lecturer in Bioethics in 2005 and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008. From 2005-2010 he also held a position as Research Fellow in an NHMRC-funded Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in infection, bioethics and haematological malignancies. The "ethics theme" of the CCRE produced over 40 peer-reviewed publications and helped to launch the careers of many young researchers.
Chris has been a chief investigator on numerous studies that have used novel, qualitative methods of inquiry in clinical settings. Between 2006 and 2010 he helped to secure over $3M in competitive grants. He was a grant reviewer for National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in 2010 and 2011 and reviews research for 7 different academic journals. In addition to several books, book chapters and edited proceedings, he has co-authored 39 peer-reviewed journal articles. Half appear in journals ranked A* or A in ERA, including six articles published in the world's most frequently cited social science journal, Social Science & Medicine.
Chris has supervised students at honours, masters, and doctoral level, and over the last 15 years he has helped turn VELiM into the largest centre for bioethics research in Australia. Today, VELiM has a burgeoning research program that supports 20 PhD candidates and 4 post-docs employed on major grants, plus research masters students and honours students. The Centre, which is now located within the School of Public Health, provides a vibrant and supportive intellectual environment for postgraduate students.

Selected publications

A list of Chris's publications from 2005-2010 can be downloaded from his Sydney Medical School profile page