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.

Columbia University Events

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 Division of Ethics: ELSI Friday Forums

ELSI Friday Forums is a monthly webinar series from the Center for ELSI Resources and Analysis (CERA) that addresses high priority ELSI (ethical, legal, and social implications of genetics and genomics research) topics. Each talk will be followed by a live Q&A with the audience. 

 ELSI Friday Forums is scheduled for the second Friday of each month, beginning November 13, 2020, from 12:00-1:00 pm Eastern Time / 9:00-10:00 am Pacific Time. Join us live, or watch later from our video archive. Questions? Please email

Save the dates!

Structural Racism and Genomics in the Time of COVID

  • Speakers: Dayna Bowen Matthew, JD, PhD and Vence L. Bonham, Jr. JD
  • November 13, 2020 from 12:00-1:00pm ET
  • For more information and to register please click here 

Addressing Racism - Recommendations Put into Practice

  • Speakers: Rhea Boyd, MD, MPH; Daphne Martschenko, PhD; Robert D. Steiner, MD
  • December 11, 2020 from 12:00-1:00pm EST
  • For more information and to register please click here 

Upcoming ELSI Friday Forums in 2021 will include issues of biobanking in the COVID era; host genomics and vaccinomics; law and genetic privacy; genomics research with Indigenous Communities, gene therapies, as well as the integration of visual arts in ELSI work.

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 are interested, please join fellow audience members for an informal discussion in a zoom meeting immediately following the forum. For those who cannot attend the live event, each session will be recorded and archived on the ELSIhub Video page.

Closed captioning will be provided for both live and recorded events.

Columbia University Center for Clinical Medical Ethics (CCME)

CCME Events  - Fall 2020

Ethics & Opioids: Part II  (in conjunction with the Columbia University Masters of Science in Bioethics Program)

  • Helena Hansen, MD PhD, NYU​
  • November 12, 202o, 6:30-7:45 PM EST
  • Via Zoom  
  • RSVP to for Zoom link and more information






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

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

Genetic Testing and Gene Therapy in Israel

  • Ruth Landau, PhD, School of Social Work and Social Welfare, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  • December 14, 2020 from 12:00-1:00 pm EST
  • After describing the Israeli healthcare system, Prof. Landau will present the work of the Public Committee for the Expansion of the Medical Health Basket Services, a unique process to decide which new technologies and medications will be available to the Israeli public the following year. She will focus on the scope of carrier screening, prenatal (fetal) testing and on gene therapy.
  •  To register and to receive the zoom link, please email:

January 11 – Kostas Kampourakis, PhD, Section of Biology, University of Geneva, Switzerland 

February 22 – Susan Domchek, MD, Basser Center for BRCA, University of Pennsylvania

March 15 – Steven Joffe, MD, Depts. of Medical Ethics & Health Policy and Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania

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)


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 SPS Masters in Bioethics Program

Bioethics Program 

Upcoming Events

Please check back for upcoming Fall 2020 events.


Past Events

Please click here to view past events and recordings.


More Columbia Events

Research Ethics & Compliance — Film Discussions 

  • This discussion series examines research ethics issues raised in popular films and documentaries.  We welcome multidisciplinary perspectives.  Anyone from any University department is welcome to attend any or all of these events.

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" (about the film)

  • Thursday, December 10th, 3pm - 4:30pm
  • Featuring a full Columbia panel including Dr. Robert Fullilove and Dr. Jacquelyn Taylor in a discussion involving audience participation and moderated by Dr. Sandra Soo-Jin Lee.
  • View the full film here (available to only Columbia affiliates).
  • Registration information here.
  • This event will be held online via Zoom; you will receive further details in your registration confirmation email.  Please note that this event will not be recorded. 
  • Please direct any questions to the series' organizer, Shawna Benston, at



Meeting the Challenge of COVID-19 in Africa—A Virtual Symposium
The Center for Pandemic Research at Columbia’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy invites the CUIMC community to attend a virtual symposium.

  • Sept. 1-4, 2020.
  • The symposium includes faculty speakers from the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Mailman School of Public Health, and the School of Nursing. 
  • View the agenda and register for the event.

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

Columbia Precision Medicine and Society

Check back for new listings

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. 


Personalized yet public? Genomic medicine's implications for precision public health.

  • Dr. Catherine Bliss, Rutgers University
  • November 16, 5-6:30pm
  • This talk examines the role of genomic and postgenomic science in precision public health. Dr. Bliss will first discuss her research into the social construction of race in genomics, and its creation of a certain population-based form of personalized medicine. Then she will examine the emergence and influence of a new scientific field of gene-environment science, social
    genomics. Finally, she will discuss the implications of human gene editing for the promotion of precision public health, with an eye to the relationship between how individuals and populations are being conceptualized and included.
  • The event will be held remotely. To register for this session, please click here. ​


Giving teens a voice: Facilitating decisionmaking about learning genomic research results.

  • Dr. Melanie Myers, Cincinnati Children
  • December 2, 5-6:30pm


Genetics: Reckoning with a history of systemic racism.

  • Vence Bonham, Jr., JD, National Human Genome Research Institute
  • February 18, 5-6:30pm


Mobilizing mutations: Remaking illness in genomic medicine.

  • Dr. Dan Navon, University of California, San Diego
  • April 8, 5-6:30pm

Mailman School of Public Health

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

 Protecting (Not Isolating) the Vulnerable   ​

  • Tuesday, November 24, 2020 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Howard Zucker, MD, JD, Commissioner of Health for New York State
  • Shari M. Ling, MD, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Zoom Registration Required  

2020: The Year of COVID-19   ​

  • Thursday, December 10, 2020 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Anthony Fauci, MD, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Zoom Registration Required  


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

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.

(Free and open to the public, registration required)

MON, NOV 30 12:00 PM

Peter Marks, MD, PhD: Risks and Benefits in Pediatric Gene Therapy Research

More information and registration here


TUE, DEC 1 12:00 PM

Pilar Ossorio, PhD, JD: Equity Issues in Pediatric Gene Therapy Research

More information and registration here


WED, DEC 2 12:00 PM

James Wilson, MD, PhD: Immunogenicity Ethics in Pediatric G.T. Research

More information and registration here


THU, DEC 3 12:00 PM

John Crowley: Lived Experiences of Pediatric Gene Therapy Research

More information and registration here


FRI, DEC 4 12:00 PM

Sandy Macrae, M.B., Ch.B., PhD: Informed Consent in Pediatric G.T. Research

More information and registration here

The Cooper Union 2020 John Jay Iselin Memorial Lecture

Monday, December 7, 2020, 5 - 6PM

The Atlantic's Ed Yong in conversation with Jennifer Weiser, assistant professor of chemical engineering at The Cooper Union Albert Nerken School of Engineering.

More information and register here






University of Pittsburgh Center for Bioethics and Health Law, sponsored by the Department of Humanities at Penn State College of Medicine:

2021 Health Humanities Consortium Conference

Crisis and Community: The Role of Health Humanities

March 25, 2021 (All day) to March 28, 2021 (All day)

Abstract: Covid-19 has precipitated a global crisis. In the US, existing social inequities have become more salient as poor people and people of color suffer disproportionately. Medicine and public health are overtly politicized. In June, the US erupted with social protests after the murder of George Floyd by police. Coronavirus upheavals have led to questions about the failure of pandemic planning. The racial reckoning brought attention to longstanding racism in medicine and motivated action for change. Many in the health humanities are asking, “What is our role?” The conference will explore the contributions of health humanities to health crises and imagine the future of the humanities during recovery and renewal.

Details for registration to follow.



Harvard University •  FXB Center for Health & Human Rights

Upcoming Events:

Structural Inequalities as Risk Factors during Pandemic

  • September 14, 2020 from 4 to 5:30 pm CEST / 10 to 11:30 a.m. EDT

Responses to COVID-19 at Local, National, and International Levels

  • September 28, 2020 from 4 to 5:30 pm CEST / 10 to 11:30 a.m. EDT

Please click here for information and registration for all events.

Questions? Please contact Margareta (Magda) Matache.


PBS NOVA: Human Nature

Human Nature premieres Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on PBS and will be available for streaming on the PBS video app.

The film will chart the discovery of CRISPR editing, as well as its uses across the globe and its current applications. The technology has shown early promise as a cure for debilitating or lethal genetic diseases, but also has the capability of making changes to healthy genes, which has raised numerous ethical questions around the altering of human DNA.

More information...

Association of Bioethics and the Humanities (ASBH)

The ASBH 22nd Annual Conference: Justice and Flourishing in a Pluralistic World


Foundation Brocher 

Foundation Brocher 2021 calendar of events

4 - 6 May 2021

  • Brocher Symposia - Kendal Evie, Kelaher Margaret, Baynam Gareth, Ferdinand Angeline
  • ELSI in epigenetics: Indigenous, national and global perspectives
  •  Read more

11 - 12 May 2021 

  • Brocher workshop - Bierer Barbara
  • Promoting Global Clinical Research in Children
  •  Read more

19 - 20 May 2021

  • Brocher Symposia - Lasker Judith, Donkor Peter, Benzian Habib
  • Ethics and Impact of Short-term Programs in Global Health
  •  Read more

26 - 28 May 2021 

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

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