Ethics Events

Welcome to the Ethics Events page! We hope you will find it a useful "one-stop" resource for the many different ethics events organized by members of the Columbia community and beyond. 

While we strive to compile a comprehensive listing of ethics-related events, we appreciate your assistance in submitting upcoming events we may have overlooked. Please email with events to be added.


CLICK on any title for more information and to register

June 14: Psychological Research in the Context of Psychiatric Genetics and Genomics – Columbia Center for Research on the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic and Behavioral Genetics

June 17: Environmental Neuroethics – International Neuroethics Society - Emerging Issues Task Force

July 19: Race and Bioethics: Amplifying Diverse Voices – Columbia Bioethics

June 23: Human Heritable Genome Editing: African Philosophy, Genetics and Genomics – School of Law, University of KwaZulu-Natal

July 9: ELSI Friday Forum: Current Legal Challenges to Abortion: Implications for Prenatal Genetics   Division of Ethics Center for ELSI Resources & Analysis 

Columbia University Events

Columbia Division of Ethics: ELSI Friday Forum


ELSI Friday Forum is a monthly one-hour seminar series featuring topics on the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of genetics and genomics research.  Join us from 12:00-1:00 pm ET / 9:00-10:00 am PT on the second Friday of each month for talks and panels on a broad array of issues, explored through an ELSI lens.

Each hour-long forum will be immediately followed by a half-hour informal networking session for audience members who would like to continue the discussion.  A zoom link to the networking session will be provided in the Zoom Chat before the end of each forum and emailed to all registrants.

Each forum will end with a Q&A with the audience and speakers: please bring your questions, expertise, and opinions to the debate!  For those who cannot attend the live event, each session will be recorded and archived on the ELSIhub Video page.

Closed/open captioning and/or transcripts will be provided for live and recorded events.


July 9, 2021 - Current Legal Challenges to Abortion: Implications for Prenatal Genetics – CLICK HERE for more information and to register

  • Ellen Wright Clayton, MD, JD
  • Marsha Michie, PhD
  • Moderated by Laura Hercher, MA, MS

June 11, 2021 - Ethical Challenges in Novel Gene Therapies for Sickle Cell Disease – Watch the recording here

  • Liza-Marie Johnson, MD, MPH, MSB
  • Melissa Creary, PhD, MPH
  • Moderated by Pilar Ossorio, JD, PhD

May 14, 2021 - Genomics and Data Sovereignty: Policy and Deliberative Approaches for Engaging Indigenous Communities  Watch the recording here

  • Stephanie Russo Carroll, DrPH
  • Justin Lund, MA
  • Moderated by Nanibaa’ Garrison, PhD

April 9, 2021 - Widening the Lens: Using Arts in ELSI Research – Watch the recording here

  • Sydney Cheek-O'Donnell, PhD
  • Erin Talati Paquette, MD, JD
  • Erin Rothwell, PhD
  • Moderated by Maya Sabatello, LLB, PhD

March 12 -  Migrant DNA: Context, Ethics, and Legal Issues  - Watch the recording here

  • Sarah Katsanis, MS, Northwestern University
  • Vera Eidelman, JD of the American Civil Liberties Union
  • Moderated by Paul Appelbaum, MD, Columbia University

February 12, 2021 - Genomics and Infectious Disease: Scientific and ELSI Issues of COVID - Watch the recording here

  • Gail Geller, ScD, MHS
  • Priya Duggal, PhD
  • Moderated by Holly Taylor, PhD, MPH

January 8, 2021 - Biobanking in the Era of COVID - Watch the recording here

  • Sara Chandros Hull, PhD
  • Kyle Brothers, MD, PhD
  • Moderated by Aaron Goldenberg, PhD

December 11, 2020 - Addressing Racism in Research and Clinical Practice - Watch the recording here

  • Rhea Boyd, MD, MPH
  • Robert D. Steiner, MD
  • Daphne Martschenko, PhD
  • Moderated by Mildred Cho, PhD

November 13, 2020 - Structural Racism and Genomics in the Time of COVID - Watch the recording here

  • Dayna Bowen Matthew, JD, PhD
  • Vence L. Bonham, Jr, JD
  • Moderated by Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, PhD



ELSIconversations is a series of networking events on ELSI research. Each series will bring something new to the conversation, be it a series on research methods, latest developments in a particular field, trainee presentations, or any topic suggested by our community of ELSI researchers and those with an interest in ELSI research. We hope everyone will make new connections and start new conversations on ELSI research!

Check back here and sign up for the ELSIhub Newsletter to find out about upcoming ELSIconversation series!

Please note: by registering for an ELSIhub event participants and attendees agree to abide by the ELSIhub Code of Conduct.


Series 1 - Winter/Spring 2021 -  focused on presentations that were originally accepted for the canceled 2020 ELSI Congress. The 21 participants recorded 15-minute presentations of their original research which were posted on ELSIhub. All of the videos can be accessed in the series list below and on the ELSIhub video page. The ELSIconversations were six hour-long events, organized by topic, where attendees watched the videos and then came together for discussion and Q&A with the presenters and moderators. While the ELSIconversations were not recorded, all the videos are available to view.

Series 1 - Schedule and Videos

Week 1: Ethics Practices for the Direct-to-Consumer Industry

Week 2: Community Perspectives on Recruitment to Genetics Research

Week 3: Oversight of Human-Animal Chimera Research: Views of Scientists, Researchers, Oversight Committees, and the Public 

Week 4: Identifying Best Practices for Clinical Genetics Delivery

Week 5: Issues at the Intersection of Identity and Genome Science

Week 6: Challenges and Opportunities in Implementing Precision Medicine at the National Scale

Columbia Division of Ethics: COVID-19 and Ethics

COVID-19 & Ethics: Health, Inequality, and Justice Events

Please click here for all COVID-19 & Ethics: Health, Inequality, and Justice Events

Columbia University Center for Clinical Medical Ethics (CCME)

CLICK here for details on 2021 CCME Events 

Event dates are subject to change. Please email for up-to-date event queries and to register for the zoom link.

Wednesday, April 21, 6:15-7:45 pm EST

  • Domestic Missions: Student Medical Clinics & Ethical Practice

  • Harriet Washington, Writer in Medical Ethics, Author of Medical Apartheid, Ethics of Student-Run Clinics 

  • Harriet A. Washington is a science writer, editor, ethicist, and author of Carte Blanche: The Erosion of Informed Consent in Medical Research (2021, Columbia Global Reports); and A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind. She has been a Writing Fellow in Bioethics at Harvard Medical School,  the 2015-2016 MiriamShearing Fellow at the University of Nevada's Black Mountain Institute, a Research Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School, Visiting Fellow at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, a visiting scholar at DePaul University College of Law and a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University. She has also held fellowships at Stanford University, and teaches bioethics at Columbia University, where she delivered the 2020 commencement speech to Columbia’s School of Public Health graduates and won the 2020 Mailman School of Public Health’s Public Health Leadership Award, as well as the 2020-21 Kenneth and Mamie Clark Distinguished Lecture Award.In 2016 she was elected a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine.  

Monday, May 10, 6:15-7:45 pm EST : Ethical Challenges in the Care of the Critically Ill Newborn​

  • Dr. Mark Mercurio, Professor of Pediatrics (Neonatology), Chief, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Director, Program for Biomedical Ethics, Yale School of Medicine, Director, Yale Pediatrics Ethics Program
  • Elvira Parravicini, MD, VP&S, moderator


January 27:  How Physicians Partnered with the Nazi Regime: Possible Lessons for Today - Columbia Center for Clinical Medical Ethics  - CLICK HERE to watch the recording.

Columbia Center for Research on the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic and Behavioral Genetics



May 28, 2021: Do Genetic Findings Impact Perceptions of Responsibility? A Public Virtual Symposium – Center for Research on Ethical, Legal & Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic & Behavioral Genetics. Watch the recording here.



Seminar Series on Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of Genetics

  • Mondays, 12:00-1:00pm Eastern Time
  • All seminars for the 2020-21 academic year will be held online.
  •  To register and to receive the zoom link, please email:
  • Titles will be added before each event.

2020-2021  Seminar Series

April 19 – David Veenstra, PhD, School of Pharmacy, University of Washington

May 17 – Daniel Geschwind, MD, Dept. of Neurology, UCLA

June 14 – Bettina Meiser, PhD, Psychosocial Research Group, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (Note: this seminar will take place from 4-5p eastern time)

Past events:

March 15: Precision Cancer Medicine: What About the Germline? 

  • Steven Joffe, MD, Founders Professor Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Professor of Pediatrics, Interim Chair, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

  • Monday, March 15, 2021, 12:00-1:00pm EST
  • Precision medicine has advanced furthest in oncology, where testing of tumor genomes for somatic variants that might inform targeted therapies has become routine in many settings. Questions frequently arise about whether variants detected in tumor DNA might be of germline origin, yet paradigms for evaluating the germline are poorly developed. This talk will describe the frequency of clinically important germline variants in patients with cancer, the relationship between evaluation of somatic and germline genomes, and the systemic challenges that cancer medicine faces in incorporating considerations of germline risk into routine cancer care.

Feb 22:  Challenging Issues in Genetic Testing: Clinical Utility and Variants of Uncertain Significance

  • Susan Domchek, MD, Basser Center for BRCA, University of Pennsylvania
  • February 22, 2021 - 12:00 pm
  • This presentation will review issues of clinical validity and clinical utility related to genetic testing for cancer susceptibility. Particular attention will be paid to the clinical challenges of variants of uncertain significance.
  •  Watch the recording

For additional information or to convey suggestions about future speakers, contact Paul S. Appelbaum, MD, Director, Center for Research on the Ethical, Legal, & Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic & Behavioral Genetics, Department of Psychiatry, at 646-774-8630 or

Columbia Bioethics

Bioethics Program 

Upcoming Events

TBD: Race and Bioethics: Amplifying Diverse Voices - Columbia University Bioethics Program - CLICK HERE for more information and to register.


Past Events

Please click here to view past events and recordings.

Columbia Precision Medicine, Precision Medicine and Society, and Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture

Columbia Precision Medicine Initiative


Columbia Precision Medicine and Society


Columbia Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture

Precision medicine - an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person - raises a myriad of cultural, political, and historical questions that the humanities and social sciences are uniquely positioned to address. The PMEPC lecture series represents a broad-based exploration of questions that precision medicine raises in law, ethics, the social sciences, economics, and the humanities.

The Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture Project is co-directed by Maya Sabatello, LLB, PhD, Associate Professor of Clinical Bioethics and Gil Eyal, PhD, Professor of Sociology. For more information on this project, please visit and 

  • 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 Diana Garofalo at as soon as possible. 

Mailman School of Public Health

The Dean's Grand Rounds on the Future of Public Health

Zoom Webinar Registration Required 

More Columbia Events

Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience


Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Brain Insight Lecture series, offered free to the public to enhance understanding of the biology of the mind and the complexity of human behavior. The lectures are hosted by Columbia’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Local, National, and International Events


Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs • NYC

Please click here for a full calendar of events

The Hastings Center • Garrison NY

NYU-Langone • NYC

March 5: Expanded Access and Right to Try: Using Unapproved Medical Products - Healthcare and Research Ethics For Covid-19 Webinar series from NYU|Langone Division of Ethics Working Group on Compassionate Use & Preapproval Access.  CLICK HERE for more information and to register.

Division of Medical Ethics Calendar

NYU Pediatric Gene Therapy and Medical Ethics: Lunchtime Seminar Series

The mission of the Working Group on Pediatric Gene Therapy and Medical Ethics is to advance research, policy, and education regarding ethical issues surrounding gene therapy trials. We seek to promote improved understanding of challenges and nascent best practices for ethical research across the evolving landscape of genetic technologies.


June 1, 2021: Studying the New Pathogen Genomics: Considerations for Bioethics – UCSF Bioethics Speaker Series

When: June 1, 2021
Time: 6:30 p.m.–8 p.m. Eastern Time
Registration is free


October 13-16, 2021: The ASBH 23nd Annual Conference: Bioethics and Humanities at the Crossroads – Association of Bioethics and the Humanities (ASBH)

When: October 13-16, 2021
Registration and Information


Foundation Brocher 

Foundation Brocher 2021 calendar of events

26 - 28 May 2021 

  • Brocher workshop - Kingma Elselijn, Verweij Joanne, Romanis Chloe
  • Realistic ELSI of "Artificial Wombs"
  •  Read more

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