Lecture Series: Genomics Salon

Happy new year! We’re excited to bring you another set of Genomics Salon discussions for winter quarter. The first one will be this Thursday, January 5, at 4:30pm in Foege S-110, on the topic “Whose genomes matter? Genomics-research diversity in context.” Take a look at our upcoming schedule of events below, check out our website and twitter, and like our Facebook page. As always, snacks and drinks will be provided, and all faculty, students, and staff are welcome. See you there!
 
Thursday January 5, 2017, 4:30pm (Foege S-110)
Salon XI: Whose genomes matter? Genomics-research diversity in context
Alice Popejoy (Public Health Genetics) and Joanne Woiak (Disability Studies)
Even as genomics technologies become more powerful, their focus remains heavily on individuals of European descent – a disparity with deep historical and cultural roots.  This session will discuss scientific and philosophical issues that relate to the under-representation of minority populations in genomics research, with a particular focus on recruitment and population genetics in the context of historical and modern-day eugenics. What concepts of genetics, race, and identity contributed to the development of past eugenic ideologies? How do the shadow of eugenics and the historic underrepresentation of certain populations continue to affect the practice of genetics and biomedicine today?
 
Thursday January 19, 2017, 4:30pm (Foege N-130)
Salon XII: The next four years: science and environmental policy under the Trump administration
 
*Note that this session will be held in Foege N-130.* The inauguration of Donald Trump promises changes in US science and environmental policy. This special session of the Genomics Salon invites speakers to address how science and environmental policy priorities are set at the local and national level, and to ask how scientists can participate in policy-making and advocacy. Scott Spencer, a graduate student at the Evans School, studies science policy; Sarah Myhre, a postdoc in oceanology, writes about the role of climate scientists in reaching out to the public; Susanna Priest, editor of Science Communication, has recently finished a book on communicating climate change.
 
Thursday February 2, 2017, 4:30pm (Foege S-110)
Salon XIII: Science and responsibility
Hannah Gelman (Genome Sciences) and Doug Fowler (Genome Sciences)
The pace of scientific and technological progress can be bewildering. Recent developments in diverse fields such as genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and renewable energy highlight the possibility of conflict between scientific research and public opinion. In this session, we will discuss the role of scientists in advancing and/or regulating scientific research and innovation, especially when this research may “run ahead” of public understanding or comfort. What factors should influence the development of a field, and who should be involved in evaluating them? Furthermore, in a rapidly evolving field, is it possible to effectively evaluate, let alone regulate, future applications?
 
Thursday February 16, 2017, 4:30pm (Foege S-110)
Salon XIV: CSI Genomics
Sarah Hilton (Genome Sciences) and Murial Moore (The Innocence Project Northwest Clinic at UW Law)
Genomic technologies have become powerful tools in criminal court, with DNA sequencing routinely used to identify or exonerate suspects, but the role of scientific evidence in court is not always straightforward. This session will explore how science and law intersect in the form of forensic genetic technologies. What is the role of scientists as expert witnesses, and how is scientific uncertainty interpreted in a legal context? How does the nature of evidence change when genetic methods move from a research to legal context?
 
Wednesday March 1, 2017, 4:30pm (Foege S-110)
Salon XV: Genomics, representation, and equity
Aaron Wolf (Genome Sciences) and James Pfeiffer (Global Health)
 
*Note that this session will be held on a Wednesday.* Recent large-scale initiatives in genome sequencing have aimed to expand genomic analysis to diverse global populations. With more data, the thinking goes, the genomic medicine can cover and benefit historically underrepresented groups. This session will examine issues of representation and equity in genomic medicine. Who benefits from the “mining” of genomic data? Does this turn in genomic medicine mark a new age in global health, or a new wave of colonialism?
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