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Wrestling with Social and Behavioral Genomics

January 13, 2023 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm EST

Social and behavioral genomics research uses huge sets of genetic data in attempts to shed light on phenotypes from smoking and eating behaviors, to psychiatric disorders, to sexuality and educational attainment. How should we think about the risks of such research, including the risks that its results can be weaponized or lead to policy fatalism? How should we think about the potential benefits, including doing better social science research or improving our understanding of modifiable risk factors that might address social inequities? What steps can scientists, ethicists, journal editors, journalists, funders and others take to promote the potential benefits and mitigate the risks? The primary aim of our panel is to facilitate a conversation about these questions and more that arise in the context of social and behavioral genomics research.

Panelist: Benjamin M. Neale, PhD (Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Broad Institute)
Panelist: Evelynn Hammonds, PhD (Harvard University)
Moderator: Michelle N. Meyer, PhD, JD (Geisinger College of Health Sciences)
Moderator: Erik Parens, PhD (The Hastings Center)