Thomas Alured Faunce

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Thomas Alured Faunce speaking at the Australian National University College of Law

Thomas Alured Faunce (born 1958) is a Professor jointly in the ANU College of Law and Medical School at the Australian National University (ANU) at Canberra Australia. His main area of research has been health technology law and policy and in 2009 he was awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to study nanotechnology and global public health.


Thomas Alured Faunce graduated with arts and law (honours) from the Australian National University in 1982. As a law student he won the prizes for contracts and air and space law was part of a team which won the Philip C. Jessup Cup international law mooting competition.[1] Faunce was legal associate to Justice Lionel Murphy of the High Court of Australia in 1983 in the year when it was involved in important decisions about the Australian constitutional power to protect the world's natural heritage in the Franklin River dam case,[2] Scientology and the Australian constitutional meaning of religion,[3] freedom of speech,[4] trial by jury,[5] the right to vote[6] and the political trials of terrorist groups.[7] Between 1983 and 1987 he worked as a barrister and solicitor with Mallesons Stephen Jaques in Canberra (living in Queanbeyan during this period) and with Freehills in Sydney.

Faunce graduated from medicine at the University of Newcastle in 1993 and practised in Emergency Medicine at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital, and Intensive Care and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Canberra Hospital and (as Senior Registrar in Intensive Care) at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne Australia (where he treated patients involved in the 2002 Bali bombings).[8] He has published a text on anaesthetic and intensive care physiology and pharmacology.[9]

Faunce completed a PhD on the Human Genome Project and Health Policy at the ANU in 2000 (examiners Prof. Edmund Pellegrino, Prof. George Annas, Prof. Don Chalmers) and it was awarded the Crawford prize (best PhD in all fields at the ANU in 2001), named in honour of John Crawford (economist). This has now been published as 'Pilgrims in Medicine' by Kluwer law International.[10] Faunce was a founding member of the National Biosecurity Centre at the ANU, has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Medical Humanities and edits the Medical law Reporter for the Australian Journal of Law and Medicine. He currently serves on the executive board and in the artificial photosynthesis group with the ANU Energy Change Institute [11] and on the ACT Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal.[12]

In 2009, he was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship for his project, 'Fostering Safe Nanotechnology Research Focused on Critical Public Health Problems'. This is a 4-year fellowship and builds upon his unique interdisciplinary research and collaborations to develop an innovative framework for fostering the focus of nanotechnology research at the Australian National University on critical public health problems such as climate change, biosecurity, food and water safety, pollution control and equitable access to health technologies. The ARC Future Fellowships scheme supports outstanding mid-career researchers to conduct high quality, innovative research, build Australia's internationally competitive research capacity and develop strong links among researchers, research institutions and other disciplines. The national success rate for applications to this scheme was 20.5%.[13]

Health and medical policy research

Thomas Alured Faunce and Prof Peidong Yang at the Towards Global Artificial Photosynthesis Conference, Lord Howe Island 16 August 2011

Faunce is an author of books, published articles and book chapters about health law, health policy and bioethics. His main area of research is nanotechnology and its impact on global public health.

Faunce has promoted the idea that whistleblowing, particularly in healthcare, needs to be recognised as having a stronger academic foundation in virtue ethics.[14][15] At the ANU Medical School he developed one of the first academic programs for teaching healthcare whistleblowing within a clinical governance framework and has emphasised the need to draw on the medical humanities to develop professional conscience[16] as well as the importance of teaching medical students about the impact of corporate globalization on health policy.[17] His book Who Owns Our Health argues that corporate executives involved in healthcare institutions should, like doctors, nurses and other health workers, be subject to a code of professional norms.[18] He is a notable proponent of the view that international human rights law may supersede bioethics.[19] Faunce has also encouraged the development of an international treaty on the safety and cost-effectiveness assessment of new health technologies.[20] He has directed an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant into the impact of international trade agreements on Australian medicines policy.[21] He has also directed an ARC Discovery Grant on cost-effectiveness assessment of nanomedicine through the evidence-based processes of the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.[22] In 2009 he was awarded an ARC Discovery Grant (in collaboration with Gregor Urbas and Lesley Skillen) to investigate mechanisms for discovering fraud in the Australian Pharmaceutical Industry using methods developed under the United States False Claims Act.[23] Through these projects he has assisted to develop the regulatory concept of 'health innovation' or innovation based on objective assessment of the comparative therapeutic significance of a new health technology product.[24] In 2010 he was awarded (with Dr Hitoshi Nasu and Assoc. Prof. Margaret Kosal) an ARC Discovery Grant to investigate Australia's legal response to military and security applications of nanotechnology.[25]

Nanotechnology research

Faunce in his academic publications and research has investigated the important role of nanotechnology in resolving or ameliorating many of the critical public health problems facing humanity, but also of the need to apply the precautionary principle in relation to some of its safety risks.[26][27][28] In 2010-2011 he participated in x-ray and neutron scattering experiments on albumin binding to silica nanoparticles with Prof. John White's team at the ANU Research School of Chemistry, Lucas Heights and Grenoble (published in Physical Chemistry, Chemical Physics 2014).[29]

Sustainable energy research

Faunce has promoted the idea of a Global Artificial Photosynthesis (GAP) (or Global Solar Fuels) Project[30][31] analyzed some of the governance challenges it will face [32] and coordinated the first international conference on that theme at Lord Howe Island between 14–18 August 2011 under the auspices of the UNESCO Natural Sciences Sector,[33][34] editing the papers for a special open-source edition of the Australian Journal of Chemistry.[35] He has argued that natural and artificial photosynthesis should fall within the concept of common heritage of humanity under international law[36][37] and that there is an urgent need to raise the governance and public policy profile of this combined energy security and climate change technology.[38] His book Nanotechnology for a Sustainable World (Edward Elgar 2012) makes the case that global artificial photosynthesis may be viewed as the moral culmination of nanotechnology.[39] He has argued that global artificial photosynthesis could power a long-term period of human stewardship over the earth[40] (see Sustainocene) and he is a frequent presenter on this topic in the media, international conferences and workshops.[41][42][43][44][45][46] The Hooke Committee of the UK Royal Society have funded his proposal for a meeting at Chicheley Hall in July 2014 of the leaders of the national artificial photosynthesis projects to discuss specialization.[47] In November 2013 he was awarded to lead an ARC Discovery Project Grant (2014-2016) on "Advancing energy sustainability by governance leadership in artificial photosynthesis (making fuels from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide)" with A/Prof A Bruce (ANU), Prof M Wasielewski (Northwestern), Prof. N Lewis (Caltech), Prof, S Styring (Uppsala), Prof D Nocera (Harvard) and Prof. W Lubitz (Max Planck Institute).[48]

Family and Community

Thomas Faunce is the son of the Canberra consulting physician Dr Marcus de Laune Faunce [49] the grandson of Marcus Gordon Faunce, a Lieutenant with the 6th Regiment of the 2nd Brigade in the Australian Light Horse, who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, Battle of Romani and Battle of Beersheba in the First World War,[50] the great grandson of Rev. Canon Alured Dodsworth Faunce of Queanbeyan and Yass, New South Wales 1840–1910 and the great great grandson of Captain Alured Tasker Faunce the first police magistrate in the Queanbeyan-Canberra region where he resided 1837–1856.[51] Direct descendants include Major-General Alured Dodsworth Faunce who fought with the 4th foot in the Peninsular War at the Battle of Salamanca, Battle of Corunna, Siege of Badajoz (1812) and Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro and Thomas Faunce of the 47th Regiment wounded in the capture of Quebec in 1759 at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.[52] Tom Faunce is married and has a son, he was Queanbeyan representative for Australia Day 2014.[53]


  1. International Law Students Association, Jessup Archives, last accessed 15 June 2009 [1]
  2. Commonwealth v Tasmania (Franklin River Dam Case) [1983] 158 CLR 1
  3. Church of the New Faith v Comm. Pay-Roll Tax (Vict.) [1982–1983] 154 CLR 120
  4. Gallagher v Durack [1982–1983] 152 CLR 238
  5. Chamberlain v The Queen (No 2) [1983–1984] 153 CLR 521
  6. The Queen v Pearson ex parte Sipka [1983] 152 CLR 254
  7. Alister &Ors v The Queen [1983–84] 154 CLR 404
  8. Faunce TA Forensic Nanotechnology, Biosecurity and Medical Professionalism: Improving the Australian Health Care System's Response to Terrorist Bombings in Oxenham M (ed) Forensic Approaches to Death, Disaster and Abuse 2008 ch 18, 289–298
  9. Faunce TA. The Australian Intensive Care and Anaesthesia Primary Exam. 9th ed. Pirion Press 2009.
  10. Faunce TA Pilgrims in Medicine: Conscience, Legalism and Human Rights. Kluwer Law International 2003
  11. ANU Energy Change Institute. Artificial Photosynthesis Group (accessed 11 July 2011)
  12. ACT Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal (accessed 11 July 2011)
  13. Australian Research Council. Funding Outcomes accessed 10 June 2010
  14. Faunce TA Developing and Teaching the Virtue-Ethics Foundations of Healthcare Whistle Blowing Monash Bioethics Review 2004; 23(4): 41–55
  15. Faunce TA and Jefferys S. Whistleblowing and Scientific Misconduct: Renewing Legal and Virtue Ethics Foundations Journal of Medicine and Law 2007, 26 (3): 567–84
  16. Faunce TA. Normative Role for Medical Humanities. Lancet 2003; 362: 1859
  17. Faunce TA and Gatenby P. Flexner’s Ethical Oversight Reprised? Contemporary Medical Education and the Health Impacts of Corporate Globalization Medical Education 2005; 39 (10): 1066–1074
  18. Faunce TA Who Owns Our Health; Medical Professionalism, Law and Leadership Beyond the Age of the Market State UNSW Press and Johns Hopkins University Press in the USA and Europe 2007, ISBN 0-86840-821-2
  19. Richard E Ashcroft. Could Human Rights Supersede Bioethics? Human Rights Law Review (2010);10(4):639-660. Template:Doi 8 May 2011)
  20. Faunce TA Toward a Treaty on Safety and Cost-Effectiveness of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices: Enhancing an Endangered Global Public Good Globalization and Health 2006; 2 (5): 1–9
  21. Faunce TA, Doran E, Henry D, Drahos P. Assessing the Impact of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) on Australian and Global Medicines Policy Globalisation and Health 2005; 1: 1–15
  22. Faunce TA. Policy Challenges of Nanomedicine for Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Australian Health Review 2009; 33 (2): 258–267
  23. Australian Research Council. Discovery Grant Funding Outcomes. accessed 7 June 2010
  24. Faunce TA. Global Intellectual Property Protection for Innovative Pharmaceuticals: Challenges for Bioethics and Health Law in Globalization and Health. B Bennett and GF Tomossy, eds., pp. 87–108, Springer, Dordrecht, 2005
  25. Australian Research Council. Discovery Grant Funding Outcomes. accessed 26 October 2010
  26. Faunce TA et al Sunscreen Safety: The Precautionary Principle Nanoethics 2008; 2: 231–240.[2]
  27. Faunce TA, White JW, Matthaei KI. Integrated Research into the Nanoparticle-Protein Corona: A New Multidisciplinary Focus for Safe, Sustainable and Equitable Development of Nanomedicines Nanomedicine 2008; 3 (6):859–866.[3]
  28. Faunce TA. Toxicological and public good considerations for the regulation of nanomaterial-containing medical products. Expert Opin. Drug Saf. (2008) 7(2):103–106.[4]
  29. Joo Chuan Ang,Mark J. Henderson, Richard A. Campbell, Jhih-Min Lin, Peter N. Yaron, Andrew Nelson, Thomas Faunce and John W. White. 'Human serum albumin binding to silica nanoparticles – effect of protein fatty acid ligand' (2014) Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. (accessed 6 March 2014)
  30. Faunce TA. Ch 21. 'Future Perspectives on Solar Fuels' in Wydrzynski T and Hillier W (eds) Molecular Solar Fuels Book Series: Energy. Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge UK (2012) 506-528
  31. . Faunce TA, Lubitz W, Rutherford AW, MacFarlane D, Moore, GF, Yang P, Nocera DG, Moore TA, Gregory DH, Fukuzumi S, Yoon KB, Armstrong FA, Wasielewski MR, Styring S. Energy and Environment Case for a Global Project on Artificial Photosynthesis. Energy and Environmental Science (2013) DOI: 10.1039/c3ee00063j (accessed 19 Feb 2013)
  32. Faunce TA . Will International Trade Law Promote or Inhibit Global Artificial Photosynthesis Asian Journal of WTO and International Health Law and Policy (AJWH) 2011; 6: 313-347
  33. Towards Global Artificial Photosynthesis: Energy, Nanochemistry and Governance (accessed 23 April 2011)
  34. Photosynthesis Research (2011) 107(3); 287, Template:Doi (accessed 23 April 2011)
  35. Australian Journal of Chemistry Number 6, Jun 2012, (pp557 - 693) (accessed 15 July 2012)
  36. Faunce TA Governing Nanotechnology for Solar Fuels: Towards a Jurisprudence of Global Artificial Photosynthesis. Renewable Energy Law and Policy 2011; 2: 163-168
  37. Faunce TA. Governing Planetary Nanomedicine: Environmental Sustainability and a UNESCO Universal Declaration on the Bioethics and Human Rights of Natural and Artificial Photosynthesis (Global Solar Fuels and Foods). 2012 Doi: 10.1007/s11569-012-0144-4
  38. Thomas Faunce, Stenbjorn Styring, Michael R. Wasielewski, Gary W. Brudvig, A. William Rutherford, Johannes Messinger, Adam F. Lee, Craig L. Hill, Huub deGroot, Marc Fontecave, Doug R. MacFarlane, Ben Hankamer, Daniel G. Nocera, David M. Tiede, Holger Dau, Warwick Hillier, Lianzhou Wang and Rose Amal. "Artificial photosynthesis as a frontier technology for energy sustainability" Energy Environ. Sci., 2013,6, 1074-1076 DOI: 10.1039/C3EE40534F (accessed 2 June 2013)
  39. Faunce TA. Nanotechnology For A Sustainable World. Edward Elgar 2012. accessed 2 May 2012.
  40. Faunce TA 'Towards a global solar fuels project - Artificial photosynthesis and the transition from Anthropocene to Sustainocene', Procedia Engineering 2012; 49: 348-356. (accessed 4 June 2013)
  41. Wilton Park Conference on future trends for regions and states 2013. (accessed 21 April 2013)
  42. ABC Radio National. Late Night Live. October 2011 (accessed 21 April 2013)
  43. BBC Frontiers Program. Artificial Photosynthesis (accessed 21 April 2013)
  44. World Future Society. Powering the World with Artificial Photosynthesis. The Futurist 2013. (accessed 21 April 2013)
  45. ANU Public Lecture 2012 (accessed 21 April 2013)
  46. Global Artificial Photosynthesis. Energy Futures Lab. Imperial College London 2012 (accessed 21 April 2013)
  47. Powering The World With Artificial Photosynthesis. ANU College of Law 2013 (accessed 4 June 2013)
  48. Australian Research Council. Discovery Project Funding Outcomes. For Projects to begin 2014. (accessed 11 November 2013)
  49. Marcus Faunce Obituary Medical Journal of Australia 2004; 181(9): 504
  50. Faces From a War Yass and District Historical Society Inc. World War One Gallery 4. Retrieved 15 June 2009
  51. Captain Alured Tasker Faunce of Queanbeyan 1837–1856 and Rev. Canon Alured Dodsworth Faunce of Queanbeyan and Yass 1840–1910, 9 pages, by Dr. M de L. Faunce (Canberra & District Historical Society, 1962) (accessed 3 Sept 2013)
  52. Captain Alured Tasker Faunce of Queanbeyan 1837–1856 and Rev. Canon Alured Dodsworth Faunce of Queanbeyan and Yass 1840–1910, 9 pages, by Dr. M de L. Faunce (Canberra & District Historical Society, 1962) (accessed 3 Sept 2013)
  53. Kim Pham.'Ambassador Traces Queanbeyan Roots' Queanbeyan Age 24 Jan 2014


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