Paul Mason

Research & Institution

Institutional Contact

Monash University

School of Social Sciences

Room S417 Menzies Building,
School of Social Sciences
Monash University
Vic 3800 Australia


As an anthropologist, Paul has contributed to theory and knowledge in the fields of ethnomusicology, medical anthropology, and complex systems theory. At the centre of his research interests is a deep fascination with biological and cultural diversity. He has conducted fieldwork with arts communities in Indonesia and Brazil, religious minorities in Brazil and India, and infectious disease patients in Australia and Vietnam.

His research on tuberculosis in Vietnam led to the development of an educational book for children that has been translated into over thirty languages thanks largely to the efforts of GYA members. With a strong belief in social integration and a desire to live in a world free of the impoverished conditions that foster diseases such as tuberculosis, Paul continues to collaborate on tuberculosis research projects as an Honorary Affiliate at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. He also conducts research on the ethics of biobanking in collaboration with leading bioethics researchers at the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine at Sydney University. He currently holds a teaching and research appointment in anthropology at Monash University, Australia.

His capacity to bring anthropological perspectives and apply systems thinking to a variety of problems has led to fruitful and fulfilling cross-disciplinary collaborations. In his research on tuberculosis, he works to promote the inclusion of anthropological theory and methods into a field traditionally dominated by quantitative research, packaging anthropological perspectives in a way that is appealing to researchers outside his general discipline, Anthropology. In his research on bioethics and biobanks, he has coauthored an online Human Research Ethics training module, publications in the American Journal of Bioethics, the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry and the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene as well as a popular science article for Australasian Science.

Paul has co-authored articles published in the “International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and the Journal of Biosocial Science that serve as pedagogical resources on anthropological theory and methods for specialist audiences. He has also constructively applied anthropological critiques of reductionism to develop new conceptual frameworks in scientific modelling in articles published in Biological Theory, BioSystems, Complexity, Briefings in Functional Genomics, and the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Awards & Affiliations


Ann Woolcock Early Career Researcher Award (2015)

Outstanding Alumni Award, Global Leadership Program, Macquarie International (2013

Global Leadership Excellence Award, Macquarie International (2011)