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About the Mason Institute

The Mason Institute is an interdisciplinary research centre based at the University of Edinburgh School of Law. It focuses on ethics and law at the interface between health, medicine and the life sciences at a national and global scale. The Institute provides internationally-recognised academic and policy leadership in the socio-legal, medical and life science governance, and bioethics fields.


The Mason Institute provides evidence-based research and policy advice and is a nexus for international collaboration and exchange, drawing on and promoting a diverse collection of existing networks and forging new ones. It is undertaking an expanding portfolio of work that will lead to greater insights into ethical and legal issues in health, medicine and the life sciences, via direct and on-going engagement with government, as well as expert and lay stakeholder communities.

Mason Institute research covers a range of topics, including:

  • Global health ethics, equalities & human rights
  • Gender and reproduction
  • Assisted dying and end of life care
  • Mental health
  • Health research and data protection
  • Health technologies, data and AI
  • Clinical negligence and patient safety
  • Regulation of health professionals
  • Law and ethics of human tissue

Mason Institute offers a range of activities throughout the year, including:

  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Seminar Series
  • PhD Researchers Group
  • Postgraduate webinar series
  • Research visitors scheme

The Mason Institute is founded in the Edinburgh Law School, but operative across several Schools at the University of Edinburgh and beyond, and serves as a nexus for international collaboration and exchange.

Mason Institute Executive Committee


Professor Anne-Maree Farrell

Executive Committee 

Dr Edward Dove
Deputy Director

Dr Agomoni Ganguli- Mitra
Deputy Director

Ms Josephine Greenbrook
Deputy Director

Ms Zahra Jaffer
Deputy Director

Dr Catriona McMillan
Deputy Director

Dr Emily Postan
Deputy Director

Ms Ruby Reed-Berendt
Deputy Director

Ms Rebecca Richards
Deputy Director

Ms Annie Sorbie
Deputy Director

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The J Kenyon Mason Institute for Medicine, Life Sciences and Law strives to reflect the openness of spirit and mind exemplified by Professor JK Mason, and to contribute to academia, public life, and the wider society through ground-breaking research and teaching. Professor Mason was Regius Professor of Forensic Medicine in the University from 1973-1985 and Honorary Fellow in the School of Law from 1985 until his death on 26 January 2017.

Prof Mason’s work and commitment to Edinburgh perfectly embody the ideals to which the Mason Institute aspires. The institute reflects the interdisciplinary interests of Ken and others at the University towards collaborative, supportive, impactful and engaging research and teaching. The Mason Institute’s vision includes a commitment to be a centre of excellence that is genuinely University-wide, internationally-oriented, and which emphasises the importance of interdisciplinary working at the interface of medicine, science, social sciences and law.

In Memoriam: Professor John Kenyon (Ken) Mason (1919 – 2017)

Ken Mason Memorial Blog

Obituary: Professor Ken Mason, medical jurisprudence pioneer

Mason Institute membership is open to individuals from all sectors and backgrounds who wish to contribute to the Mason Institute’s activities and outputs, and participate jointly in research, knowledge exchange and capacity building.

The Mason Institute seeks to create an open and vibrant community at the interface of medicine, life sciences and law, and will maintain open communication with it members on opportunities for growth and collaboration.

If you would like to become a member, please fill in the form on the below link. Please do contact us at if you have any questions.

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