- What is your current role (roles) at the JBI? My primary role with the journal is as an associate editor responsible for ageing. I was also one of the editors for the COVID-19 symposium in 2020 and have supported the journal through managing peer review of some of the COVID-19 submissions since then. Previously, I’ve helped out with supporting Bronwen Morrel’s managing editor responsibilities when she’s been on leave, and have been part of the executive team for the JBI since 2019.
- What are your professional interests/disciplines? I’m a palliative medicine specialist and geriatrician by training with an interest in the ethics of clinical practice, aged care, palliative care and dementia. My PhD work focused on re-conceptualising dementia using systems theory and I have an ongoing interest in the use of systems thinking in theorising and morally responding to care challenges. I’m also involved in clinical research including clinical trials using a variety of different research methods.
- Tell us about the scope of your JBI editorial role – what types of work come across your desktop? The work that comes across my editorial-desk usually addresses issues for older people, often with a focus on dementia. The understanding and implications of autonomy, agency and decision-making in this context are frequent topics. The majority of the COVID-19 submissions I’ve been involved in managing have explored the challenge of triage and resource allocation. The focus of COVID submissions seem to have changed over time perhaps demonstrating our changing global position within the pandemic. More recent submissions have explored issues like equity within community and political responses to COVID and the personal and social moral challenges arising from lockdown.
- Tell us about a recent/upcoming paper in your portfolio that stood out, and why. A recently reviewed paper by Bennett Allen explores how affect theory can be used to assess our responses to COVID-19. Allen suggests that our longing for the good life post COVID can be due to a genuine sense of hope but also can be a type of “cruel optimism”. In this latter case expressing a wish and belief of a return to “normal” can be a manipulative and sometimes cynical expression. Allen describes the motivating power of emotion and on reading the paper I agree that this holds an important place in understanding COVID-19 messaging and our responses to it. I was also moved by the claim that the ideal response from ethical advocates is to channel our affective attachments to “build a world that is worth our attachment to it”. I continue to think about this paper, and what I should be doing differently as a result.
- What is your “must-read”, “must-view” or “must-listen” recommendation to people? I’ve just had the pleasure of re-discovering Herbie Hancock’s “Headhunters” album. If you haven’t listened to it recently, do yourself a favour and release that earworm!
Find out more about the JBI editorial team here.