Past Public Forums

  • Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, presents "Recent Progress in iPS Cell Research and Application"

    Wednesday, June 9, 2021

    Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka will present "Recent Progress in iPS Cell Research and Application," on June 9, 2021. This forum, which is free and open to the public, will launch Harvard's Annual Bioethics Conference (ABC). The annual conference includes access to this forum and two additional days of programming. 

    In 2006, Shinya Yamanaka discovered that adult somatic cells can be reprogrammed into an embryonic-like pluripotent state by delivering transcription factors. These reprogrammed cells, known as induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, have the potential to develop into every cell type in the body and are invaluable tools for disease modeling, drug screening, and cell therapy. iPS cells also provide an unprecedented opportunity for discovery in life science, and in Yamanaka’s lab today, researchers continue to use them to investigate the mechanisms for cell fate determination, the reprogramming process, and pluripotency. Yamanaka is the 2012 winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.

    Support provided by the Oswald DeN. Cammann Fund at Harvard University.

  • Changing the Record:

    How bioethics ought to address racism and bias in health care and beyond
    December 3, 2020 Watch Video

    Yolonda Yvette Wilson is a 2019-2020 fellow at the National Humanities Center and a 2019-2020 Encore Public Voices fellow. She holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research interests include bioethics, social and political philosophy, race theory, and feminist philosophy. She is broadly interested in the nature and limits of the state’s obligations to rectify historic and continuing injustice, particularly in the realm of health care, and is developing an account of justice that articulates specific requirements for racial justice in health care at the end of life.

    Read more about Yolonda Wilson.

    Watch event here.

  • Ethical Dilemmas in Mask and Equipment Shortages:

    Health Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    April 22, 2020 Watch Video
    Event Description

    Personal protective equipment or PPE has been a major topic of discussion across the nation. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed major shortages of PPE and health care workers are being asked take care of patients with what some would argue is inadequate protection. The guidelines set by the CDC have changed and recommendations have even gone so far as to approve bandannas as a means for respiratory protection. Some have argued that it is unethical for health care workers to not have adequate protection, while others think it's their duty, protected or not. Adding to this debate has been theft, hoarding and disparate distribution of these critical supplies. During this panel discussion moderator Carmel Shachar, Stephen P. Wood, Christine Mitchell and Dr. Michael Mina explored the ethics of PPE in the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Stephen P. Wood, Fellow in Bioethics, Center for Bioethics, Harvard Medical School
    • Christine Mitchell, Executive Director, Center for Bioethics, Harvard Medical School
    • Michael Mina, Assistant Professor, Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
    • Moderator: Carmel Shachar, Executive Director, Petrie-Flom Center and Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School
  • Making Bioethics More Inclusive

    Thursday, September 10, 2020, 5 p.m.

    Justice is a foundational tenant in bioethics, yet the field of bioethics has not prioritized addressing structural racism and systemic inequalities deeply rooted in our system. The Center for Bioethics needs to lead the field in this movement toward equity in every aspect of human difference. Now is a crucial time for our community to direct our focus in affirming and building an antiracist culture in our student and faculty recruiting, clinical care and consults, and in our research.

    Please join us for a panel event, the first in a series of explorations, that we hope will inform how the field of bioethics and the Center can better support anti-racism and health inqualities work and nurture diversity, and create practices of inclusion in the places we study, work, and teach in.

    Panelists LaShyra "Lash" Nolen, BS, HMS '23; Matthew Riley III, MBE '19, MDiv; Keona Wynne, MBE '20; and moderator Bizu Gelaye, PhD, will share their experiences and lead discussion about the work to be done at the Center and how our community can create a more just path forward.