Past Event

Misha Angrist – Ask but Don’t Tell: The Stubborn Alienation of Research Participants in the Twenty-First Century

April 5, 2018
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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Schermerhorn Extension Room #754, Columbia University, 1200 Amsterdam Ave, New York

Speaker: Misha Angrist, Duke University

“I would like to think that if somebody does a test on me or my genes, that that’s mine…” President Obama’s empathetic words to a White House gathering celebrating the launch the Precision Medicine Initiative were spoken in early 2016, but somehow they already feel like something from a distant fever dream. Meanwhile there’s a lot going on—the steady march of Big Data; ascendant science denialism; a reproducibility crisis marked by sometimes-bitter recriminations; mistrust of big pharma; and, not least, the ambitious recruitment of large cohorts of research participants. The latter has been accompanied by much rhetoric about “engagement” and “empowerment.” But, with apologies to Gertrude Stein, how much there is there? Might this hot mess of a moment present an opportunity to truly challenge the longstanding asymmetry of power between researcher and participant?

Free and open to the public; please find the abstract and more details on the event website.

Columbia University is committed to creating an environment that includes and welcomes people with disabilities. If you need accommodations because of a disability, please email Veronica Belafi at [email protected], at least two weeks in advance.

Misha Angrist is Associate Professor of the Practice at SSRI and a Senior Fellow in Science & Society. He serves as the lead of the Public Impact & Engagement track for the MA in Bioethics & Science Policy and as a faculty mentor, and he teaches several MA electives. In his work, he explores the intersection of biology and society, especially as it relates to the governance of human participation in research and medicine. As the fourth participant in the Personal Genome Project, he was among the first to have his entire genome sequenced and made public. He chronicled this experience in his book, Here is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal Genomics. Angrist has his MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars, his MS in genetic counseling from the University of Cincinnati, and a PhD in genetics from Case Western Reserve University.

This event is sponsored by the Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture Project; the Precision Medicine & Society; and the Center for the Study of Social Difference. The Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture Project is co-directed by Rachel Adams, PhD, Professor of English; and Maya Sabatello, LLB, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Bioethics.