Alan Petersen was born in 1953 in Subiaco, Western Australia. Undertaking his undergraduate studies in social sciences at the Western Australian Institute of Technology (now Curtin University), Petersen went on to complete an MA in Social Anthropology (1982) at the University of Western Australia before gaining his PhD in Social and Political Theory (1988) from Murdoch University, Perth. Petersen has held various positions at universities in Australia and the United Kingdom. These have included Lecturer in Applied Behavioural Sciences at Curtin University of Technology (1988-91), Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Murdoch University (1992-2001), and later Professor of Sociology of Health and Illness at the School of Law and Social Sciences at Plymouth University, UK (2001-07). Petersen has published widely on topics ranging from the sociology of health and illness, the construction of sex/gender, ageing and gender, health and risk, and the social implications of new and emerging biomedical technologies. His key publications include The New Public Health: Health and Self in the Age of Risk (1996) (with Deborah Lupton), Unmasking the Masculine: `Men’ and `Identity’ in a Sceptical Age (1998) and The Politics of Bioethics (2011). Petersen also plays an active role in related policy debates as a member of the National Enabling Technology Strategy’s Stakeholders’ Advisory Council (Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education) and the Gene Technology Regulator’s Ethics and Community Consultative Committee (Department of Health and Ageing). Petersen’s current appointments include Professor of Sociology at Monash University, Melbourne, and Honorary Visiting Professor at the Centre for Biomedicine and Society, Brunel University, London.