Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar announced the appointment after an international recruitment process.
“It is very pleasing that we have been able to recruit Professor Dodds to take on this vital role. She is a high-calibre researcher, a progressive and strategic thinker, and an experienced and respected academic leader. Professor Dodds will be a great asset to the staff and students of La Trobe University,” Professor Dewar said.
“Professor Dodds is a highly-regarded philosopher and bioethicist. Her expertise in public engagement and proven ability to challenge traditional ways of thinking to deliver practical outcomes will be invaluable in her leadership of the Research and Industry Engagement portfolio.”
Professor Dodds is a La Trobe alumna, having completed her PhD after undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto. She said she was delighted to be returning to La Trobe after 25 years.
“Coming to Australia as a PhD candidate, I was attracted to the way La Trobe positioned itself as distinctive in its progressive, forward-looking, 'can do' outlook, bringing world leading research to bear on issues facing the community through academic excellence, rather than elitism. That ethos still motivates the academic purpose of La Trobe and I am excited to be able to contribute to that effort.”
“La Trobe is uniquely positioned to work in partnership with communities and industry, providing access to research excellence to support communities of the future across Victoria. I believe new models of research collaboration and graduate research projects designed with industry will maximise the engagement and impact of La Trobe research.”
Professor Dodds is currently Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales. She previously served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Tasmania, where she was also Deputy Provost. Professor Dodds started her academic career at the University of Wollongong, ultimately becoming Professor of Philosophy and Head of the School of English Literatures, Philosophy and Languages.
Her research explores the social impact of developing technologies and the intersections of ethics, political philosophy, moral psychology, feminist theory, and public policy. She has published widely on bioethics, health policy and regulation, including recent works on deliberative democracy and human vulnerability. She also has been a successful PhD supervisor and has considerable experience in teaching across the discipline of Philosophy as well as teaching into Law, Nursing and Science degrees.
Professor Dodds is Chief Investigator and Ethics, Policy and Public Engagement Theme Leader on the Australian Research Council (ARC) Australian Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, a collaboration across six Australian universities and five international partner organisations. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales and has held several national leadership positions including President and Chair of the Australasian Council of Deans of Arts, Social Science and Humanities and Chair of the Board of the Australasian Association of Philosophy. She has also been a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Health Ethics Committee and the Office of Gene Technology's Gene Technology Ethics and Community Consultative Committee, was the Chair of the National Enabling Technologies Stakeholder Advisory Council, and has also held international appointments including being Vice President of the International Association of Bioethics.
Professor Dodds has won more than $45 million in competitive research grant income, and has been Chief Investigator on three ARC Discovery grants and one Linkage grant. She is a reviewer for several ARC grant programs, and has served as a reviewer for programs administered by the United Kingdom’s Economic and Social Research Council, the Icelandic Centre for Research, the Irish Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the New Zealand Health Research Council, and the Swiss National Science Foundation.
Professor Dodds starts at La Trobe on 3 June 2019.
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