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Faculty Member

Ann Robertson BSc, MSc, DrPH

Email Address(es)
Office Phone
(416) 978-6051
Office Address
Dalla Lana School of Public Health Health Sciences Building, 155 College Street Toronto, ON M5T 3M7
Social & Behavioural Health Sciences Division
Professor Emerita
SGS Status
Member Emerita
Appointment Status

Research Interests

  • discourses on health, risk and the body
  • public health ethics
  • biotechnology and society

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

  • CHL 5102 S – Social & Political Forces in Health Care
  • CHL 5124H – Public Health Ethics (Course Coordinator and Instructor)
  • CHL 5105 S – Social Determinants of Health
  • Reading Course – Health, Risk and the Body: Contemporary Theoretical Issues in Social Science and Health
  • CHL 5101 F – Social Theory and Health

Honours & Awards

  • 2007-10 Module Coordinator and Instructor, Public Health Ethics, University of Cape Town, South Africa. Course Director: S. Benatar (University of Cape Town, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto), International Research Ethics Network for Southern Africa, Funded by Fogarty International Center, US National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • 2005 Graduate Faculty Teaching Award for Graduate Student Mentorship, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • 1997 Robin F. Badgley Award for Excellence in Teaching in Community Health (Early Career), Graduate Department of Community Health, University of Toronto.
  • 1992 American Sociological Association, Section on Aging Doctoral Dissertation Award.
  • 1991 Anne Crichton Publication Award, University of British Columbia Health Care and Epidemiology Alumni Association.
  • 1990 Student Paper Award, Social Research Policy and Practice Section, Gerontological Society of America.

Current Research Projects

  • 2008-2011 Co-investigator, “Canadian Program of Research on Ethics in a Pandemic (CanPREP): Whose risks, whose duties and what priorities?”. PI: Ross Upshur (Joint Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto). Funded by CIHR.
  • 2007-2009 Co-investigator, "Ethics and pandemic planning: Engaging the voices of the public". PI: Ross Upshur (Joint Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto). Funded by CIHR.
  • 2004-07, Co-investigator, “ELSI Research and the Construction of ‘Legitimate’ Expertise”. PI: J. Lopez (University of Ottawa). Funded by SSHRC.
  • 2003-06 Principal Investigator, "'It's all in our genes': A Critical Analysis of Media Representations of Genetic Risk for Breast Cancer." Funded by SSHRC
  • 2000-02 Principal Investigator, "Towards a Phenomenology of Risk: The Case of Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer." Funded by SSHRC.
  • 1997-99 Co-investigator, "Health Data Mapping: A Community-University Collaboration." Funded by NHRDP.
  • 1996-98 Principal Investigator, "Women's Perceptions of Risk for Breast Cancer: A Phenomenological Study." Funded by Dean's Fund, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.
  • 1996-98 Co-investigator, "Indicators of Community Capacity." Funded by NHRDP.
  • 1994-96 Principal Investigator, "Apocalyptic Demography and Early Retirement: Transformations in the Life Course." Funded by Connaught Fund, University of Toronto.

Representative Publications

  • Polzer, J. & Robertson, A. (forthcoming) Seeing and knowing in 21st century genomic medicine: The clinical pedigree as an epistemological tool. New Genetics and Society.
  • Robertson, A. (2009) “Biotechnology and the Governance of Life: The Case of Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis” in Critical Interventions in the Ethics of Healthcare: Challenging the Prinicple of Autonomy in Bioethics, edited by S.J. Murray & D. Holmes, Toronto: Ashgate Publishing
  • Nixon, S, Upshur, R., Robertson, A., Benatar, S., Thompson, A*., and Daar, A. (2008) “Public Health Ethics”, in Public Health Law, Ethics and Policy, Second Edition, edited by T. Bailey, T. Caulfield and N. M. Ries, Calgary: Lexis Nexis Canada.
  • Lopez, J. and Robertson, A. (2007) Ethics or politics? The emergence of ESLI discourse in Canada. Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, Special Issue on Genes and Society, Volume 44 (2).
  • Polzer, J. and Robertson, A. (2006). “From familial disease to ‘genetic risk’. Harnessing women’s labour in the (co)production of scientific knowledge about breast cancer”. In Hannah-Moffat, K. and O’Malley P. (Eds), Gendered Risk: an interdisciplinary and international collection of original essays on gender and risk. London: Glasshouse Press.
  • Thompson, A*., Robertson, A. & Upshur, R. (2003) Public Health Ethics: Towards a Research Agenda. Acta Bioethica, Volume IX (2): 157-163.
  • Robertson A. (2000). Embodying Risk, Embodying Political Rationality: Women’s Accounts of Risks for Breast Cancer. Health Risk & Society, Volume 2(2).
  • Robertson A. (1999) Health Promotion and the Common Good: Theoretical Considerations. Critical Public Health, Volume 9 (2): 117-133.
  • Robertson, A. (1998). Critical Reflections on the Politics of Need: Implications for Public Health. Social Science and Medicine, Volume 47 (10): 1419-1430.
  • Robertson, A. (1998). Shifting Discourses on Health in Canada: From Health Promotion to Population Health. Health Promotion International, Volume 13 (2): 1-12.
  • Robertson, A. (1997). Beyond Apocalyptic Demography: Towards a Moral Economy of Interdependence. Ageing and Society, Volume 17 (4): 425-446.
  • Labonte, R. & Robertson, A. (1996). Delivering the Goods, Showing our Stuff: The Case for a Constructivist Paradigm for Health Promotion Research. Health Education Quarterly, Volume 23 (4): 431-447.
  • Eakin, J., Robertson, A., Poland, B., Coburn, D. & Edwards, R. (1996). A Critical Social Science Perspective for Health Promotion Research. Health Promotion International, Volume 11 (2): 157-165.