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Matthew James

Course Lead

Matthew James

About Research

Tel: 020 8240 4811


Matt James is Course Lead for MA Bioethics and Medical Law and PGR Lead within the Institute of Theology & Liberal Arts. He is also Director of the Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies.

Matt holds a BA (Hons) degree in History and Sociology from Queen's University Belfast, and a distinction in his MA Bioethics and Medical Law from St Mary's University. He subsequently completed his MA in Academic Practice with distinction.

Matt has a background in bioethics and public policy having worked within Westminster and Whitehall for over 10 years. He was previously a parliamentary researcher for a shadow minister for International Affairs before working as a senior researcher for several Westminster based think tanks focusing on the ethical and social implications surrounding advances in health and emerging technologies. This has involved him authoring numerous original reports on various health policy issues, writing a variety of thought leader and opinion pieces on the impact of new emerging technologies and responding with written evidence to various parliamentary consultations and inquiries. Matt has also helped organise and chair a variety of public symposia which have brought together key stakeholders to discuss the impact of new technologies both here in the UK (Houses of Parliament, Royal Society of Medicine and the British Museum among others) and in USA (Washington DC).


2020 Associate, The Royal Society of Medicine

2018 Senior Fellow (SFHEA), Higher Education Academy

2017 MA Academic Practice in Higher Education (Distinction)

2011 Fellow, Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA)

2008 MA Bioethics and Medical Law (Distinction)

2003 BA (Hons) Modern History and Sociology (2:1)


2021- Director, Centre for Bioethics & Emerging Technologies (CBET)

2021- PGR Lead, Institute of Theology and Liberal Arts

2021- Institute of Theology & Liberal Arts representative, Quality Assurance and Enhancement Committee (QAEC).

2020- Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Law, Sydney, The University of Notre Dame, Australia

2019 - Associate Professor, MA Bioethics & Medical Law

2018- Representative of the Institute of Theology & Liberal Arts and Chair of the University Ethics Sub Committee

2017- Course Lead, MA Bioethics & Medical Law


Research profile

Main Areas of Research / Scholarship:

  • Advances in genomics and gene editing
  • Ethical implications surrounding synthetic human entities with embryo-like features (SHEEFs)
  • Ethics washing, big data and smart cities
  • Ethical and social implications of new emerging technologies
  • E-pedagogy and how to effectively improve and enhance student learning and outcomes

External Involvement (Consultancy / Professional Bodies / External Examining):

2021- Academic Advisor, Princess Alice Hospice Ethics Forum

2020- Member of the editorial board, European Association of Centres of Medical Ethics (EACME)

2019 - External examiner for FdA Health & Social Care and BSc (Hons) Health & Social Care (University of Plymouth) and FdA Health and Social Care (University of Chester).

2018 - Member, Institute of Medical Ethics

2015 - Chair of the UK working group, Cambridge Consortium on Bioethics Education

2012 - Member, Scottish Council on Human Bioethics Ethics Committee

2012 - Managing Editor of The New Bioethics: A Multidisciplinary Journal of Biotechnology and the Body (published by Taylor & Francis)

2009-12 Managing Editor of Human Reproduction and Genetic Ethics

Conference Papers

2020 ‘Learning the Lessons: How best to maximise self-directed learning online?’, St Mary’s Festival of Learning and Teaching.

2019 ‘Play your cards right: How can a game of cards aid inclusive, collaborative learning?’, St Mary’s Festival of Learning and Teaching.

2019 ‘Time to vlog! Enhancing bioethics education through vlogging’. A presentation at the Cambridge Bioethics Consortium, Paris July 2019

2019 ‘Understanding the Posthuman Future’, Workshop paper ‘Ethics of creating new persons’ research project, collaboration between Centre for Bioethics & Emerging Technologies (CBET) at St Mary’s University and Scottish Council for Human Bioethics, Edinburgh, 11 January 2019

2017 ‘To assess or not to assess, that is the question: Exploring what makes effective assessment design’, Cambridge Consortium of Bioethics Education, Paris

2016 ‘It’s all in the cards: Exploring the ethics of human enhancement’, Cambridge Consortium of Bioethics Education, Paris

2016 ‘A Review of Progress and Uptake of Digital Health Innovations’, The King’s Fund Digital Health Congress 2016, 4 July 2016

Selected Publications

James, M. (2021) [Forthcoming]. ‘Proactionary Relationships: How does Heidegger’s idea of enframing shape how posthuman persons and their generators might relate to one another?’ In: Mackellar, C., Stammers, T. ed(s). The Ethics of Generating Posthumans. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Reviews and Editorials:

Book Review – Patient-Centred IVF: Bioethics and Care in a Dutch Clinic, The New Bioethics, 24:3, 272-276, DOI: 10.1080/20502877.2018.1525653

Editorial, The New Bioethics, 22:2, 87-88, DOI: 10.1080/20502877.2016.1194641

Book Review - The Genealogy of a Gene. Patents, HIV/AIDS and Race, The New Bioethics, 22:2, 155-157, DOI: 10.1080/20502877.2016.1194661

Book Review - Stem Cell Dialogues: A Philosophical and Scientific Inquiry into Medical Frontiers, The New Bioethics, 22:1, 82-83, DOI: 10.1080/20502877.2016.1162493

Book Review - Adventures in Human Being, The New Bioethics, 22:3, 255-256, DOI: 10.1080/20502877.2016.1238577

Book Review - The Glass Cage: Who Needs Humans Anyway?, The New Bioethics, 22:3, 253-255, DOI: 10.1080/20502877.2016.1238576

Book Review - Synthetic Biology and Morality: Artificial Life and the Bounds of Nature, The New Bioethics, 21:2, 180-183, DOI: 10.1080/20502877.2015.1123938

Book Review - Truly Human Enhancement: A Philosophical Defense of Limits, The New Bioethics, 21:2, 178-180, DOI: 10.1080/20502877.2015.1123937

Editorial, The New Bioethics, 20:2, 2014 107-108, DOI: 10.1179/2050287714Z.00000000045


James, M., Manning, J. 2014. “Growing older positively: The challenge of commissioning for an ageing HIV population”. NHS Health Executive Nov/Dec 2014.

James, M., Stammers, T.G. 2014. “Opt-outs and Upgrades: Ethics and Law”. Cambridge Quarterly Review. 2014 Jul; 23(3): 308-18. doi: 10.1017/S0963180113000911.

James, M. “Give your brain a boost: The advent of cognitive enhancing drugs”. International Pharmaceutical Industry Journal. Vol 5, 1, 2013

Other publications:

All publications subject to scrutiny and review by an independent steering group appointed for the duration of each project.

Paxman, J., James, M., Costanza, E., Manning, J. 2020. Smart Future of Healthcare. London: 2020health.

James, M., Paxman, J. 2018. Tackling Obesity - What the UK can learn from other countries. London: 2020health. ISBN 978-1-907635-63-2

Hunter, R. M., Paxman, J. and James, M. 2017. Chronic fatigue syndrome/Myalgic Encaphomyelitis: Counting the cost. London: The Optimum Health Clinic.

James, M., Manning, J., Paxman, J. 2017. The Fear of Finding Out: Identifying psychological barriers to diagnosis in the UK. London: 2020health. ISBN 978-1-907635-96-0

Blacknell, A., James, M., Manning, J., Paxman, J. 2016. Foresight Project Report: A discussion of the potential impact of technology on the UK optical sector to 2030. London: The Optical Confederation & the College of Optometrists. ISBN 978-1-907635-50-2

James, M., Kershaw, S., Parkhurst, A. 2015. Fat Chance? Exploring the evidence on how who becomes obese. London: 2020health. ISBN 978-1-907635-89-2

Beer, G., James, M. 2014. Careless Eating Costs Lives. London: 2020health
ISBN 978-1-907635-46-5

Beer, G., James, M. 2014. Growing Older Positively: The challenging of ageing with HIV. London: 2020health. ISBN 978-1-907635-22-9

Beer, G., James, M. 2013. Ankylosing Spondylitis: Hard to say, hard to see, time to hear. London: 2020health. ISBN 978-1-907635-24-3

Beer, G., James, M. 2013. A Road Map for Recovery. London: Anthony Nolan.

Beer, G., James, M. 2013. The Wells Family Challenge: A Pharmacist First Approach. London: 2020health and Sainsbury's.

Beer, G., James, M. 2012. The Morning After: A Cross Party Inquiry into Unplanned Pregnancy. London: 2020health. ISBN 978-1-907635-29-8

Beer, G., James, M. 2012: Cancer Commissioning: Making the reforms work for patients. London: 2020health. ISBN 978-1-907635-21-2


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