Delivering in Another Tumultuous Year
- In 2021, as the country scrambled to decide how to allocate the Covid-19 vaccine, Hastings Center research scholar Nancy Berlinger led a national team to produce detailed guidance on vaccine ethics.
- As hesitancy became more contentious, the Center’s president Mildred Solomon cut through the noise around vaccine mandates with a series of thoughtful public virtual discussions.
- USA Today, The Associated Press, NPR, NBC News, and other media outlets turned to Center scholars for insights as the country confronted new challenges in managing the pandemic.
- In the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection, the Center released a special report, “Democracy in Crisis: Civic Learning and the Reconstruction of Common Purpose,” which identifies breakdowns in how citizens engage in collective problem solving, threatening democratic values.
- The Center also convened journalists from the New York Times, Nature, and other publications for a series of conversations with experts to make sense of complex issues around genomics and human behavior, genetic data in law enforcement, and racism in medical research.
- Center scholars Karen Maschke and Michael Gusmano launched a major project to develop ethical and policy guidance for xenotransplantation, an experimental treatment that aims to circumvent the human donor shortages by transplanting organs from nonhuman animals into humans. Maschke was sought out by media outlets including the Associated Press to comment on pig-to-human transplant.
- And scholars Greg Kaebnick and Michael Gusmano led the development of a National Science Foundation-funded special report, “Gene Editing in the Wild: Shaping Decisions through Broad Public Deliberation,” that calls for deeper and broader public engagement on the release of gene-editing of species such as mosquitoes into the environment. In a widely seen article, Kaebnick weighed in on a project to bring back the Woolly Mammoth.
- The Center’s groundbreaking series, The Art of Flourishing: Conversations on Disability, continued with the leadership of scholar Erik Parens and Rice postdoctoral fellow Liz Bowen–bringing thousands together to explore the issues of disability in our society.
- Additionally, the Center welcomed its inaugural group of Sadler Scholars, six doctoral students with bioethics interests who identify as members of racial and ethnic communities underrepresented in the field. This innovative program is part of a larger commitment by the Center to address health inequity, including a healthy equity summit with Caste author Isabel Wilkerson set for January 19-20, 2022.