Launch of Philament 25—with a new website

Philament is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal that publishes scholarship by postgraduates and early-career academics on literature, cultural studies, and the arts. I have been managing editor of the journal since 2016, so it’s a thrill to publish the journal’s 25th volume and at the same time launch a new website at www.philamentjournal.com. Both the volume and the website have been almost a year in the making. I am grateful to the talented web designer Elle Williams for designing and realising the site. I’m also very pleased to have designed, with Elle, the new journal layout, which features sidenotes—an attribute I’ve always admired in journals such as Screen. I will continue to develop the journal for the foreseeable future.

The front page of the new Philament website.
An article as it appears on the new website
The Latest Issues page as it appears on the new website.
A volume page on the new website.
The new print layout, featuring bottom-aligned sidenotes.

Update: MCNSW Report Completed; Articles in Progress

I’m writing this quick update simply to share my recent movements and my goings-on in the coming months.

One success story of last year was finishing the final version of my major report for the Medical Council of NSW, titled “Regulating Medical Practitioners in the Public Interest: A Qualitative Review of Public Interest-based Decisions of the Medical Council of NSW under s 150 of the National Law.” It was about 8 months in the making. I have uploaded a copy of the contents to academia.edu.au here — and I’ve appended a precis of my findings. It’s not possible for me to publish the report to the public, however, as it deals with confidential information, and information protected by statute. The plan is now to publish a range of articles that communicate these findings to the broader health law community. I have almost finished an article on the implementation of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) as an example co-operative federalism in action.

In other news: happily, I’ve been appointed a Research Fellow at Sydney Law School for 2019. I am part of an ARC Linkage Project titled Regulating Autologous Stem Cell Therapies in Australia. Briefly, the project seeks to develop an ethical and regulatory framework for the use of autologous adult stem cell therapies in Australia. As the grant description states,

These therapies are increasingly being offered to patients for diseases and conditions that lack scientific evidence of safety and efficacy. This study aims to address this problem using a mixed methods approach to generate empirical data and theoretical, ethical and legal insights that will guide the responsible development, translation and regulation of innovative stem cell therapies in Australia and internationally. Anticipated outcomes will improve patient advocacy and public knowledge about adult stem cell therapies, and facilitate better relationships between patients, researchers and clinicians.

Something that I’ve already learnt about the regulation of autologous stem cell therapies in Australia is that the Commonwealth government, via the Therapeutic Goods Administration, overhauled its regulation of biologicals framework last year; and seemingly very little has been written in response to these new regulations, which incorporate a handy new risk-based classification system for biologicals. So I already have quite a clear research pathway into this area.

Another subject related to the regulation of autologous stem cell therapies that I’m interested in writing about is the regulation and provision of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections/therapies in Australia. As an amateur athlete, I well know how many people use this form of therapy in Australia (it’s common) — and I have a rough sense, too, of how many Australian health practitioners provide it. It will be good to look at the therapy from a regulatory standpoint and to begin to understand where this form of therapy sits in the range of biological therapies — be they proven, partially proven, or unproven therapies — in the Australian health care context.

I’m also teaching the Foundations of Law unit at Sydney Law School this semester 1 of 2019, which will be a nice re-entry into teaching (my last formal unit was the one I coordinated in the English department — a master’s unit, Approaches to Genre, in 2016); but I’ll be doing some one-to-one teaching, as I have been these last few years, at the University in various settings.

Amid the academic work I’ve also been training quite hard for Canberra Marathon, which will happen on 14 April. That’s involved some 120–140 kilometres of running each week, and all of the research, recovery and preparation that goes into that. For someone who’s relatively new to distance running, having started in late 2016, there’s a lot of wisdom to imbibe. The goal is 2:50:00 or better.

That’s all from me for now. I hope the next update includes news about a publication!

Update: A Report (in Progress) and Two Book Chapters

Well, it’s certainly been a long time since I’ve written anything here—almost 8 months, in fact. For that reason, I thought I’d better put together a quick update on my goings on. I am currently working on a report on the meaning of “public interest” for a NSW regulatory body; and I’m also finalising a chapter on Huxley and neuropsychiatry for a book that shall be published this year, presumably by Lit Verlag for their “Human Potentialities” series, edited by the German Huxley scholar Bernfried Nugel. (This special book in the series will be guest edited by Julian Piras and Dana Sawyer.)

I have also finally been provided proofs of my chapter on Philip K. Dick, L. Ron Hubbard, and psychiatric devices, which I believe will be published in a Lexington edition this year. Once the Huxley chapter is out of the way, I look forward to continuing to work on my articles in law and medicine.

I continue to manage Philament, and was pleased to have successfully applied for and received some very helpful funding for the coming issues, taking the journal through to 2019. The current editor is working hard on producing two issues this year, and I have recently reached out to a talented web designer and hope to have the journal’s new website designed later in the year.

That’s all for now.