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BSMS > About BSMS > Contact us > Staff > Professor Bobbie Farsides

Professor Bobbie Farsides

Prof Bobbie Farsides

Professor Bobbie Farsides (BSc, PhD)

Professor of Clinical and Biomedical Ethics
T: +44 (0) 1273 877630
Location: Medical Teaching Building, Rm 3.04, BSMS, University of Sussex, BN1 9PX

DA: Lisa Costick/Ellen Thomas
+44 (0)1273 877890

Areas of expertise: Medical ethics

Research areas: Medical ethics and humanities; neuroscience


Bobbie joined Brighton and Sussex Medical School as Professor of Clinical and Biomedical Ethics in 2006. She had previously held posts at the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics, King’s College London (Lecturer/Senior Lecturer 1996-2006) and the Department of Philosophy, Keele University (Lecturer 1986-96). She is a graduate of the London School of Economics (B.Sc Econ Government) where she also studied for her PhD under the late Professor Sir Maurice Cranston. 

Professor Farsides has been involved in developing the academic field of Bioethics for over thirty years. Whilst at Keele she was part of the team that established innovative master’s programmes which continue to this day, and whilst at King’s she was part of the team delivering their highly successful MA in Medical Law and Ethics. As the Ethics team has grown at BSMS the opportunity arose to develop a new postgraduate offering and in 2021 BSMS will be launching its MA in Contemporary Bioethics. 

Since joining BSMS Professor Farsides has been able to expand her activities in relation to global health issues and she is an active member of the Global Health Bioethics Network. She has supervised doctoral projects in The Gambia, Ethiopia and now in China, and has strong links to the ethics and public engagement teams in all the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas project sites. 

As a long-standing member of faculty Professor Farsides sees an important part of her role as offering mentorship and support to junior colleagues, and she is an enthusiastic and committed mentor to a number of colleagues within BSMS, partner universities and beyond. She was Deputy Chair of the BSMS Research Ethics and Governance committee for ten years and served as Deputy Director, and then Director of Student Support.


Ethical issues relating to healthcare, especially ante-natal screening and testing, reproductive technologies, palliative care and issues around death and dying.

Recent funding/grants

  • 2011-2014 Wellcome Trust Biomedical Ethics in Developing Countries Doctoral scholarship for Dr Adamu Adassie, 'Adoption of rapid ethical appraisal as a practical method of assessing ethical issues relating to biomedical research projects in Ethiopia', Co-Supervisor with Dr Gail Davey (BSMS)
  • September 2009 NIHR Programme Grant, Increasing the Acceptability and Rates of Organ Donation Among Ethnic Groups, PI: Prof Morgan (KCL), with Prof Jones (KCL), Dr Sque (Southampton), Prof Grieve (KCL), Prof Newton (KCL), Prof Rhandawa (Bedfordshire), Prof MCGuire (LSE), Dr Scoble (Guys and St Thomas’s)
  • 2009-2014 Wellcome Trust Biomedical Ethics Strategic Award, The ethics of translational research: from ‘unnatural entities’ to experimental treatments, LABTEC - London & Brighton Translational Ethics Centre, with Prof Williams (KCL) Prof Cribb (KCL), Prof Michael (Goldsmiths), Dr Minger (KCL), Prof Salter (CBAS), Prof Scott (KCL), Prof Seale (QMUL), Prof Shaw (KCL) & Prof Wainwright (CBAS)
  • 2007-2009 Wellcome Trust, A framework for the acquisition of embryos for research, with Prof Clare Williams (KCL), Dr Sue Avery (Birmingham), Prof Sarah Franklin (LSE)
  • 2004- 2006 ESRC Stem Cell Programme, Mapping stem cell innovation in action, Co-applicant with Dr Clare Williams (Nursing, KCL), Mr Nigel Heaton, (Head of Liver Studies, King’s College Hospital); Professors Cribb (Public Policy, King’s College) and Michael (Sociology, Goldsmith’s College); and Dr Wainwright (Nursing, KCL)

Active collaborations

  • Dr Gail Davey, BSMS
  • Professor Melanie Newport, BSMS
  • Dr Catherine Will, Department of Sociology, University of Sussex
  • Professor Clare Williams, Brunel University
  • Professor Rosamund Scott, King's College London
  • Professor Myfanwy Morgan, King's College London


Ethics - The General Medical Council requires that ethics is a 'continual stream' through the undergraduate medical curriculum. Bobbie is responsible for this element of the BSMS curriculum and shares teaching and development responsibilities with a number of BSMS and University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust colleagues.

Selected publications

Ferretti, A., Ienca, M., Sheehan, M. et al. Ethics review of big data research: What should stay and what should be reformed?. BMC Med Ethics 22, 51 (2021).

Cottrell L, Economos G, Evans C, Silber E, Burman R, Nicholas R, et al. (2020) A realist review of advance care planning for people with multiple sclerosis and their families. PLoS ONE 15(10): e0240815.

Farsides B. Commentary 2: Always be Prepared: Anticipating and Confronting Ethical Challenges in the Research Setting. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics. 2019;14(5):516-518. doi:10.1177/1556264619835709b  

Jepkosgei J, Nzinga J, McKnight J. Maintaining Distance and Staying Immersed: Practical Ethics in an Underresourced New Born Unit. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics. 2019;14(5):509-512. doi:10.1177/1556264619835709

Samuel, G.N., Farsides, B. Public trust and ‘ethics review’ as a commodity: the case of Genomics England Limited and the UK’s 100,000 genomes project. Med Health Care and Philos 21, 159–168 (2018).

Samuel GN, Farsides B. Genomics England’s implementation of its public engagement strategy: Blurred boundaries between engagement for the United Kingdom’s 100,000 Genomes project and the need for public support. Public Understanding of Science. 2018;27(3):352-364. doi:10.1177/0963662517747200

Dheensa S, Samuel G, Lucassen AM, et al. Towards a national genomics medicine service: the challenges facing clinical-research hybrid practices and the case of the 100 000 genomes project. Journal of Medical Ethics 2018; 44:397-403.

Ine Van Hoyweghen, Erik Aarden. (2021) One for All, All for One? Containing the Promise of Solidarity in Precision Medicine. Critical Public Health 0:0, pages 1-12.

Samuel, G.N., Dheensa, S., Farsides, B. et al. Healthcare professionals’ and patients’ perspectives on consent to clinical genetic testing: moving towards a more relational approach. BMC Med Ethics 18, 47 (2017).

Jarrett, L. (Ed.). (2007). Creative Engagement in Palliative Care: New perspectives on user involvement (1st ed.). CRC Press.

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