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Genomics, Consent, and the Public Imaginary

A Conversation with Deborah Laufer and Charmaine Royal, facilitated by Jules Odendahl-James
December 7th, 2017
12:00 PM


Thursday, December 7, 2017
12 pm - 1 pm

Forum for Scholars and Publics
Duke's West Campus Quad
011 Old Chem
Map & Directions

A light lunch will be served beginning at 11:45 am.

Please join us for conversation facilitated by Duke Professor Jules Odendahl-James between Deborah Zoe Laufer, award-winning playwright and Health Humanities artist-in-residence, and Duke Professor Charmaine Royal. They will discuss genetics in the public imaginary. The discussion will be introduced by Professor Karrie Stewart.

Laufer, supported by the Franklin Humanities Institute Health Humanities Lab, will be on campus as an artist in residence from December 5-8, 2017. She will be leading a course enhancement that requires all students in Professor Stewart's Global Health 341 (Ethics of Infectious Disease Control) to participate in a public reading of the award-winning play Informed Consent in the Sheafer Theater on Thursday, December 7, at 7 pm. The reading is free and open to the public.

Informed Consent is based on the true story of research misconduct by Arizona State University researchers working between 1989 and 2003 with the Havasupai, a Native American tribe who have lived in the bottom of the Grand Canyon for centuries. The play was a New York Times critic's pick in 2015. The diverse range of characters in Informed Consent grapple with the implications of genetic technologies that reveal more about our future, and our past, than our current value systems have answers for. How much should we know about ourselves? About others? Who gets to do this research and what do they owe the research participants? Is it ever appropriate to mislead a research participant? What is the value of belief when it conflicts with science? Is DNA destiny? These are some points to discuss in the conversation leading up to the performance.

Co-sponsored by the Forum for Scholars and Publics and the Health Humanities Lab at the Franklin Humanities Center.

Related News

Nov 28, 2017 | Duke Global Health Institute

DGHI Professor Takes Dramatic Approach to Teaching Global Health Ethics

Global health professor Kearsley Stewart has been using a case study approach to teach her undergraduate "Ethics of Infectious Disease Control" course for several years, but this semester, she wanted to experiment with a more creative pedagogical method. As she's done in the past, she turned to the humanities for inspiration. CONTINUE READING

Deborah Zoe Laufer

Deborah Zoe Laufer's play Informed Consent opened at the Duke on 42nd Street, a co-production of Primary Stages and Ensemble Studio Theatre, in August 2015. An Alfred P. Sloan Foundation commission through EST, it first received productions at Cleveland Playhouse and Geva Theatre ...

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Charmaine Royal

Duke University

Charmaine Royal is associate professor of African & African American Studies, Biology, and Community & Family Medicine at Duke University. She is also core faculty in the Duke Initiative for Science and Society, faculty affiliate in the Duke Global Health Institute, and senior fellow ...

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Kearsley Stewart

Duke University

Kearsley (Karrie) Stewart, Ph.D., joined the Duke Global Health Institute in 2013 with a secondary appointment in Cultural Anthropology. She previously taught at Northwestern University, worked at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta as a behavioral scientist, and was a post-doctoral fellow at ...

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Jules Odendahl-James

Duke University

Jules Odendahl-James is an artist/scholar who holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and an MFA in Directing from University of Texas Austin. She has taught a range of courses in Theater ...

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