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Book launch: ‘Embodied Narratives: Protecting Identity Interests through Ethical Governance of Bioinformation’

Emily Postan's book in the Old College Quad


Raeburn Room,
Old College,
South Bridge,


Wed 8 March 2023
17:30 - 19:30 (GMT)

Please join the Mason Institute for a conversation between the author Emily Postan (Edinburgh School of Law), and colleagues John Appleby (Lancaster University) and Muriel Leuenberger (Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics) to mark the publication of Emily’s book ‘Embodied Narratives: Protecting Identity Interests through Ethical Governance of Bioinformation’.

The conversation will be followed by a drinks reception in the Carstares Room.

Embodied Narratives

Data-driven healthcare, research, and digital devices mean that rich information about our health and our bodies is more ubiquitous than ever. We are used to thinking about what other people might do with our information – but what about the impacts of encountering it ourselves? ‘Embodied Narratives’ argues we need to take seriously the ethically significant ways that accessing bioinformation about ourselves, or having it withheld from us, impacts on our identities.

Embodied Narratives’ speaks to bioethicists and philosophers of identity, as well as to healthcare professionals, tech developers, and policy-makers who are responsible for making decisions about when and why people can access information about, for example, their physical and mental health, genomes, or family relationships.

Embodied Narratives’ is available as an Open Access e-book from Cambridge Core and hard copies may be purchased directly from CUP at a discount with checkout code POSTAN22.

The author

Emily Postan is a Chancellor's Fellow in Bioethics at the University of Edinburgh Law School and a Deputy Director of the Mason Institute. Emily is an interdisciplinary bioethicist with a background in philosophy.  Her main research interests lie in interrogating the roles played by biomedical technologies, personal information, and data science in our shaping our identities. Her current research project ‘Identity by Algorithm’ interrogates the ethical implications of being (re)categorised by health applications of AI.

Guest Speakers

Dr John Appleby: John is a Lecturer in Medical Ethics at Lancaster University. Before joining Lancaster, he was a post-doc at King’s College London. John completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge on the question of whether people should be told if they were donor-conceived. John works on theoretical and applied issues in moral and political philosophy. Most of his work is applied to issues of ethics, policy and regulation in science and medicine - especially reproduction (e.g. the ethics of the donation of reproductive materials). He is currently conducting research on a number of topics in the field of reproduction and reproductive donation, including: gamete and embryo donation; mitochondrial replacement techniques / mitochondrial donation (aka 'three person IVF'); in-vitro derived gametes; ectogenesis and gene editing technologies (e.g. CRISPR).

Dr Muriel LeuenbergerMuriel is a Hosted Research Fellow at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. Her research focuses on identity and authenticity in medical ethics  (neuroethics in particular) and ethics of technology / AI. Her current research project investigates how our identity is influenced by the personal information we can gather through novel and emerging technologies, specifically bioinformation (neuroimaging, health and activity trackers, or genetic testing), autobiographical information (stored in text logs, photos, or location trackers), and algorithmic profiles (for recommender systems, targeted advertising, or predictive policing).


Registration to attend in person