Sharon Batt

Adjunct Professor, Independent Researcher and Writer

Sharon Batt

Contact information

Email: sharon.batt
Mailing address:
Department of Bioethics
C-315 CRC Building, Faculty of Medicine
PO Box 15000, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2

Research topics

  • Ethics and the role of patients’ advocacy organizations
  • The pharmaceutical industry and conflicts of interest in medicine
  • Ethnographic methods in bioethics
  • Lay expertise and health technologies
  • Civil society, neoliberalism and health policy
  • Breast cancer and the politics of women’s health

Related information


  • BA (Hon): Carleton University, Ottawa
  • MA: University of British Columbia
  • PhD: Dalhousie University
  • PDF: Pharmaceutical Policy Research Collaboration (PPRC), 2012-13

Research interests

My work integrates scholarly research, public education, and social change activism. Projects in 2017 include a Lillian Robinson Visiting Scholar appointment at Simone de Beauvoir Institute in Montreal and a book, Health Advocacy Inc. (UBC Press). Both projects move into public discussion my ethnographic research on the policy implications of pharmaceutical company funding of patients' advocacy groups.

Selected publications

  • Batt S. (2017). Health Advocacy Inc.  UBC Press: Vancouver, BC.
  • Batt, S. (2016), Pharmaceutical Company Corruption and the Moral Crisis in Medicine. Hastings Center Report. doi: 10.1002/hast.575
  • Batt S. (2015). A community fractured: breast cancer activism, pharmaceutical company funding and science-related advocacy in Canada. In P Wehling, W Viehöver and S Koenen (eds.), The Public Shaping of Medical Research: patient associations, health movements and biomedicine. Abingdon, Oxon and New York: Routledge.
  • Batt S. (2014). Who will support independent patients groups. BMJ October 25, 2014, 349:g6306.
  • Batt S. (2010). Who pays the piper? Industry funding of patients’ groups. In A Rochon Ford and D Saibil (eds), The Push to Prescribe: Women & Canadian Drug Policy, Toronto: Women’s Press/Canadian Scholars’ Press.
  • Batt S. Patient no more: The politics of breast cancer, Charlottetown, Canada: Gynergy Books and London UK: Scarlet Press, 1994. Australia and New Zealand edition, Melbourne: Spinifex, 1996. French translation: À bout de patience: les enjeux de la lute au cancer du sein, Montréal: Remue-ménage, 1998.

Media appearances

  • "EpiPen Furor: Patient Groups Take Money, Stay Mum", a blog post co-authored with Adriane Fugh-Berman on The Hastings Center forum. Available at
  • “Elevator Ads Saga”, a collaborative educational YouTube video on pharmaceutical advertising and academic activism. Produced by C. Hsuen and featuring J. Graham, S. Batt, B. Mintzes, and D. Sinclair. January 2009. Available at:
  • “The Cancer Personality”, a 2-hour radio documentary for CBC Ideas, 1991. Winner of the 1991 Major Armstrong Award, first prize for Excellence in Radio Broadcasting (documentary), and the Canadian Nurses Association’s first prize for Excellence in Health Reporting, National Media Awards Competition, 1991.
  • Multiple appearances on CBC’s the Sunday Edition, CBC Commentary, CBC Information Morning,  Health Matters, This Morning, CBC Cross-country Check-up, The Health Show, Canada AM, Skylight, Straight from the Hip, CBC-TV The National, Vancouver Community Radio, and others.

Selected awards and honours

  • Lilian Robinson Visiting Scholar, Concordia University, Winter 2017
  • Pharmaceutical Policy Research Collaboration (PPRC) Fellowship, 2012-13
  • Dalhousie University, Faculty of Graduate Studies Doctoral Thesis Award: Outstanding doctoral thesis in the humanities and social sciences, 2011-2012, for The breast cancer movement in Canada: from grass roots to pharma partnerships. (Book under contract with UBC Press)
  • Essay competition winner, Thirteenth Berlin Roundtable on Transnationality: Health Politics in an Interconnected World, Irmgard Coninx Foundation, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) and the Humboldt-University Berlin. Berlin (December, 2010)
  • Laura Jamieson Award (1995), best feminist book published in English Canada, for Patient No More: the politics of breast cancer


  • Society for Social Studies of Science (4S)
  • Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA)
  • The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC)

Employment (selected)

  • Elizabeth May Chair in Women’s Health and the Environment, Dalhousie University (2001-2003)
  • Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies, Mount Saint Vincent University (1999-2001)
  • Co-founder and Director of Breast Cancer Action Montreal (BCAM) (1991-1999)
  • Consultant to Health Canada, Planning and follow-up to the National Forum on Breast Cancer (1993-1994)
  • Editor, Protect Yourself Magazine, Quebec Consumer Protection Office, Montreal (1985-91)


  • Professional Competencies II, Co-tutor, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, 2012-13 and 2013-2013
  • Women’s Health and the Environment, Graduate Seminar, Faculty of Health Professions, Dalhousie University, 2002-2003
  • Women’s Health and the Environment, Introductory Course, Faculty of Health Professions, Dalhousie University, 2001-2002
  • The Politics of Women's Health, Senior Seminar, Department of Women’s Studies, Mount Saint Vincent University, 1999-2001
  • A Feminist Approach to Women's Health Policy, Senior Seminar, Department of Women’s Studies, Mount Saint Vincent University, 1999-2001

Service & activity