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

December 6, 2021: Getting Genetic Ancestry Right for Science and Society – Anna Lewis, PhD, Harvard EJ Safra Center for Ethics – ClinGen Ancestry & Diversity Forum

December 8, 2021: Kidney to Share: A living kidney donor's experience and lessons learned about barriers and opportunities in kidney donation – Martha Geshun & John D. Lantos, MD, Children's Mercy Bioethics Center

December 10: New ACMG Guidance on Carrier Screening: More or Less Equitable? – ELSIhub/CERA

  • Blair K. Stevens, MS, CGC
  • Katie Stoll, MS, CSC
  • Moderated by Maya Sabatello, LLB, PhD

March 21 - April 1, 2022: Annual Medical Student Ethics Conference –Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College

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.

2021-2022 SERIES

December 10, 2021 - New ACMG Guidance on Carrier Screening: More or Less Equitable? – Click here for more information and to register

  • Blair K. Stevens, MS, CGC
  • Katie Stoll, MS, CSC
  • Moderated by Maya Sabatello, LLB, PhD

November 12, 2021 - Benefit-sharing and Pharmaceutical Development in Africa: What Does Equity Mean? – Click here for more information and to register

  • Nchangwi Munung, PhD 
  • Michéle Ramsay, PhD 
  • Moderated by Jantina De Vries, PhD

October 8, 2021 Genomic Data Sharing: Putting Principles and Policy into Practice – Watch the recording here

  • Heidi Rehm, PhD
  • Keolu Fox, PhD
  • Moderated by Malia Fullerton, PhD

September 10, 2021 - Remembering 9/11: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues with Using DNA for Disaster Victim Identification –  Watch the recording here 

  • Amy Mundorff, PhD
  • Jay Aronson, PhD
  • Moderated by Jennifer Wagner, JD, PhD

2020-2021 SERIES

July 9, 2021 - Current Legal Challenges to Abortion: Implications for Prenatal Genetics – Watch the recording here

  • 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.

October 28, 2021: On Beauty and Being Just: Reckoning with a Plague Year – Dr. Elaine Scarry, PhD, Harvard University

November 15, 2021: Vulnerable Ethics: The Role of Lead Psychiatrists in the US Eugenics and Forced Sterilization Movement and the Nazi Holocaust – Mark Komrad, MD, Johns Hopkins University

November 15: Physician Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia of Non-Terminal Psychiatric Patients: An Emerging Ethical Crisis – Mark Komrad, MD, Johns Hopkins University

RSVP for link: 

December 8, 2021: Kidney to Share: A living kidney donor's experience and lessons learned about barriers and opportunities in kidney donation – Martha Geshun & John D. Lantos, MD, Children's Mercy Bioethics Center

January 27, 2022: How Physicians Partnered with the Nazi Regime: Possible Lessons for Today – Ken Prager, MD, VP&S, Columbia University


March 5, 2021: Ethical Dilemmas in Palliative Care: The Near and The Far with Dr. Craig Blinderman  - CLICK HERE to watch the recording.

February 4, 2021: Intersex: Legal, Ethical and Human Rights Development CLICK HERE to watch the recording.

January 27, 2021:  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

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

  • Mondays, 12:00-1:00pm Eastern Time
  • All seminars for the 2021-22 academic year will be held online.
  •  To register and to receive the zoom link, please email:
  • Titles will be added before each event.

2021-2022  Seminar Series


Sept. 13, 2021 – Dan Navon, PhD, Dept. of Sociology, Univ. of California, San Diego

Oct. 25, 2021 – Shirley Sun, PhD, School of Social Sciences, Nanyang Technical University, Singapore

Nov. 15, 2021 – Tania Simoncelli, MS, Vice President, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Dec. 16, 2021 – Tim Yu, MD, PhD, Dept. of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School (Note this seminar will take place from 4-5p.)

Jan. 24, 2022 – Danton Char, MD, Dept. of Anesthesiology, Stanford University

Feb. 14, 2022 – Shawneequa Callier, JD, MA, Dept. of Clinical Research and Leadership, George Washington University

Mar. 14, 2022 – Kathryn Philipps, PhD, Dept. of Clinical Pharmacy, Univ. of California, San Francisco

Apr. 11, 2022 – Ben Berkman, JD, MPH, Dept. of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health

May 16, 2022 – Susan Gelman, PhD, Dept. of Psychology, Univ. of Michigan

June 13, 2022 – TBA


Past events:

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.

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

Postponed: 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

Upcoming Events:

Columbia Precision Medicine and Society

Upcoming Events:

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. 

Upcoming Events:

  • October 27, 4-5:30pm ET: Asian Americans: Visibility in Genetics Healthcare and Research – Dr. Jennifer Young, Stanford University
  • November 17, 12-1:30pm ET: From DNA Sequencing to Precision Medicine: Uncertainty Communication and Recontact Responsibilities in Genomic Cancer Care – Dr. Aviad Raz, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
  • February 9, 5:30-7pm ET: Race and Genetic Identities: the Promise and Pitfalls of DTC Genetic Testing – Dr. Jada Benn Torres, Vanderbilt University
  • February 18, 5-6:30pm ET: TBD
  • April 6, 5-6:30pm ET: Dr. Hila Lifshitz-Assaf, New York University

Mailman School of Public Health

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

We look forward to sharing the 2021-2022 schedule of events in September, 2021. 

More Columbia Events

November 16: Genetics/Genomics and Social Determinants: Collision of Collaboration? – Columbia Science and Health Equity Lecture Series

  • Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, PhD,
  • David B. Goldstein, PhD
  • Jennifer J. Manly, PhD
  • Moderated by Anne L. Taylor, MD


November 30Research Protections and Vulnerable Populations – Dr. Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, MHE Division of Ethics – Clinical Research (CR) Brown Bag Session *Note: For Columbia affiliates only


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


Alden March Bioethics Institute Albany Medical College

March 21 - April 1, 2022: Annual Medical Student Ethics Conference

For questions about submissions email: Nada Gligorov at

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs • NYC

Please click here for a full calendar of events

The Hastings Center • Garrison NY

The New York Academy of Sciences • NYC

November 16-17, 2021: The Science of Racial Justice - CLICK HERE for more information and to register.

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.


December 6, 2021: Getting Genetic Ancestry Right for Science and Society – Anna Lewis, PhD, Harvard EJ Safra Center for Ethics – ClinGen Ancestry & Diversity Forum


Foundation Brocher 

Foundation Brocher 2021-2022 calendar of events

17 - 19 May 2022

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

23 - 25 May 2022

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