A Closer Look At Scientific Ethics
On Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 22, over 150 guests attended Haverford’s Symposium on Scientific Ethics which was hosted by the Koshland Integrated Natural Sciences Center (KINSC), the Center for Career and Professional Advising (CCPA), the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship (CPGC), and interested faculty. It was the latest on-campus event sponsored by Haverford’s recent Initiative in Ethical Engagement and Leadership (IEEL), which was made possible two years ago by a generous gift from Andy Pleatman ’66.
The symposium featured seven panel sessions that discussed ethical issues related to being human, HIV/AID medicine, clinical trials, genomic medicine, preventative medicine, and food and water in a changing climate, as well as the challenges of teaching ethics. A poster session on Friday featured the related work of ten students from across scientific disciplines.
Friday’s keynote speaker was University of Wisconsin Law and Bioethics Professor Alta M. Charo, who drew on her multifaceted background to discuss a new type of genetic engineering, called “CRISPR,” and how reactions to developments in scientific research are framed in both political and intellectual contexts. Saturday’s plenary speaker, Majora Carter, a MacArthur Fellow and president of Majora Carter Group, spoke from an urban development background. She looked at ethics through the lens of the concept of justice, and how it often has punitive implications in the dominant culture and frustratingly unjust implications in the subdominant culture. (Her work in revitalizing and diversifying “low-status” neighborhoods in the Bronx is a part of a process she calls “self-gentrification,” which works to provide better resources and infrastructure for existing low-status communities and help their inhabitants find educational and employment opportunities.)
Bringing together experts and educators from various disciplines, alongside students, the Symposium on Scientific Ethics proved to be a successful, well-organized effort that called attention to the increasingly important intersection of science and ethics.
CHOP attending physician and director of medical ethics Christopher Feudtner spoke about innovative approaches to teaching ethics.
Ambroise Winkam, health sciences faculty member at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, speaks on the genomic medicine panel.
Yale School of Public Health Assistant Professor Jason Schwartz spoke on a panel about ethics and vaccines.
Gail Jarvik, head of the medical genetics division at the University of Washington, chaired a panel on “The Ethics of Genomic Medicine.”
Cherie Butts, associate director of immonology research at Biogen, chaired a panel on “Ethics in Preventive Medicine: A Focus on Vaccines.”
CHOP physician Kristen Feemster speaks on a panel on vaccines.
Paul Lombardo, Bobby Lee Cook Professor at the School of Law, and Center for Health, Law and Society at Georgia State University, was on a panel about “The Ethics of Genomic Medicine.”
Carl Eilliott, of the Center for Bioethics and Department pf Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, speaks on a panel on “The Ethics of Being Human.”
Marjora Carter gives the plenary talk on Saturday.
Mahui Chen ’17 presents her research at a poster session in Zubrow Commons.
A student presents her research to panelist Waheedah Shabbazz-El and President Kim Benston.
Sophia Nelson ’20 explains her research.
A poster session in Zubrow Commons displayed student research.
Ruth Levy Guyer, former visiting professor at Haverford, speaks on a panel about the ethics of clinical trials.
Laura Bishop, from the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, at Georgetown University, speaks.
Jonathan Moreno, the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Penn, gives a talk.
Georgetown Professor Emeritus of Medical Ethics Robert Veatch, from the Kennedy Institute of Ethics; speaks at the symposium.
Laurel Sprague, of the HIV Justice Network, speaks at the Symposium on Scientific Ethics.
Waheedah Shabbazz-El, a goodwill ambassador for Philadelphia FIGHT, regional organizing director at Positive Women’s Network, and chair of the Community Advisory Board at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for AIDS Research, speaks on a panel.
President Kim Benson listens to a panel at the Symposium on Scientific Ethics.
-Photos by Leigh Taylor