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Bringing Bioethics to Policymakers: Learning from Experience

June 17 @ 1:00 pm

How can bioethics researchers get their findings into the hands of those who shape policy? What gaps separate research and policy, and how can stakeholders navigate them? How can researchers and policymakers better communicate with and relate to each other? This Greenwall Foundation webinar will explore these questions and more as we discuss approaches to increase bioethics’ impact on policymaking.


Nancy Berlinger, PhD, Senior Research Scholar·The Hastings Center

Nancy Berlinger is a Senior Research Scholar at The Hastings Center. Her research focuses on ethical, societal, and global dimensions of population aging (Bioethics for Aging Societies), with special attention to dementia care and to housing equity for older adults. Other interests include ethical challenges in immigrant and community health, problems of safety and harm in health systems, and guidance for health practitioners in end-of-life and crisis conditions. Her research collaborations often aim to discover how shared ideas and values (narratives) supportive of equity and flourishing can be integrated into public conversations, policy development, and practice under real-world, non-ideal conditions. She founded and directs The Hastings Center’s Sadler Scholars initiative for doctoral students from underrepresented communities.

Robert Cook-Deegan, MD Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society·Arizona State University

Dr. Robert Cook-Deegan is a professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, and with the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University. He founded and directed the Duke Center for Genome Ethics, Law and Policy (2002-2016). Prior to Duke, he was with the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (1991-2002); National Center for Human Genome Research (1989-1990); and the congressional Office of Technology Assessment (1982-1988). His research interests include science policy, health policy, biomedical research, cancer, and intellectual property. He is the author of “The Gene Wars: Science, Politics, and the Human Genome” and more than 350 other publications.

Kirstin Matthews, PhD Fellow in Science and Technology Policy·William Marsh Rice University — Baker Institute for Public Policy

Kirstin R.W. Matthews, Ph.D., is a fellow in science and technology policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and a lecturer in the Department of BioSciences at Rice University. She is also a track advisor for the Wiess School of Natural Sciences’ Professional Science Master in Biosciences and Health Policy, a core and governing board member of the Rice Synthetic Biology Institute, and a steering committee member for Rice’s Medical Humanities Research Institute. Matthews is the director of the Baker Institute Science and Technology Policy Program and the Center for Health and Biosciences’ Biomedical Research Program. Her research focuses on ethical and policy issues at the intersection between traditional biomedical research and public policy. Specifically, she focuses on regulation and ethical issues associated with emerging biotechnology, including vaccines, stem cells, synthetic biology, and genomic medicine. Matthews also collaborates with Kenneth Evans and Neal Lane to understand how scientific advice is used in and provided for the federal government, including the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Matthews has a B.A. in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Michelle Groman, JD, President & CEO·The Greenwall Foundation

Michelle is President & CEO of The Greenwall Foundation. She has wide-ranging experience in translating bioethics scholarship into real-world applications that affect everyday lives and draws on that experience to help realize the Foundation’s vision of making bioethics integral to decisions in health care, policy, and research.  Michelle previously served as the Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer (2018-2020) and Director of Bioethics Grants, Strategy, and Special Projects (2015-2017). Prior to joining the Foundation, Michelle was Associate Director at the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues where she oversaw work on diverse topics including neuroscience and related ethical issues, pediatric medical countermeasure research, and human subjects research protections.  A graduate of Harvard Law School, Michelle also practiced law in Washington, DC and clerked for the Honorable Bruce M. Selya on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. She has published articles on various legal issues and topics in bioethics including end-of-life decision-making, research ethics, and emerging genetic technologies.