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Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies

Greetings from Stephen Latham, Bioethics Center Director

On Tuesday at 5, our friends at the Medical School's Pediatric Ethics Program will host Douglas Hood, PA, speaking on "A Case in Neonaticide: Evaluation of a Connecticut Case." The talk, which will be in the Cohen Auditorium of the Child Study Center, is open to all.

Anyone interested in the effects of climate change on the Arctic will want to attend our Animal Ethics group’s upcoming public lecture this Thursday, October 29. Cheryl Rosa, DVM, PhD (Deputy Director of the US Arctic Research Commission) will speak on “Arctic Entanglements: Welfare & Survival of Large Whales,” at 5:15 in ISPS. Details at the link and in the Calendar section below.

The Dean and Faculty of Yale Law School will mark the death of our beloved friend and colleague Robert A. Burt, Alexander M. Bickel Professor Emeritus of Law, on Sunday, November 1, at 2pm, in the Levinson Auditorium of the Yale Law School. Please join us as we remember and celebrate Professor Bo Burt.

Congratulations to Bioethics Scholar Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-director of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, on the publication of “Ecological Civilization,” a compendium of the talks and proceedings of the International Conference on Ecological Civilization and Environmental Reporting held last June at the Yale Center Beijing. The volume includes contributions from academics, journalists, scientists, government, religious and business leaders from China, the U.S., and other countries, discussing the environmental challenges facing China and the world—and the increasingly important role of religion and traditional cultures in finding sustainable solutions to the challenges we face. A free PDF of the compendium is available at the link above.

And here's another reminder of the Yale Law School's upcoming conference (November 12-13) on "The New Health Care Industry"! Save the date!
  Updates from the Summer Institute

Campus Events

Conferences & Off Campus Events

Grants, Fellowships & Jobs

Calls for Papers & Nominations



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Updates from the Summer Institute

From Summer Institute Director Carol Pollard

The Sherwin B. Nuland Summer Institute in Bioethics 2016

I’m asking all past students, instructors, and mentors to think about nominating students for the 2016 Summer Program.  I take very seriously such recommendations.  International students are asked to apply by November 30, 2015, which is about a month away; US students have a deadline of January 17, 2016. Click here for the new poster for the 2016 Summer Program. By the way, Nicholas Christakis will be the Keynote Speaker at our 2016 Banquet; Justin List, past student and instructor, will also be addressing the students that night; he now works at New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene as the Director of the Clinical & Scientific Affairs Unit housed within the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention & Tobacco Control. (There's a fantastic acronym for it: NYCDOHMH BCDPTC CSA). Justin was an instructor in the first Summer Program; he has an amazing narrative to tell us!.  Carolyn Brokowski, who actually attended THREE SUMMER PROGRAMS, will be addressing the Alumni Association Meeting on the Sunday after the Banquet – she has another truly amazing narrative to relay to us.  For both Justin and Carolyn, it’s all in the journey…. 

Kyle McGregor writes: “It finally happened. I defended my dissertation on October 15th and managed to pass with distinction. And I have already submitted two of the publications from my dissertation to journals. The night of my defense I was also awarded the Indianapolis Best and Brightest award for the second year in a row (health and life sciences category). It would have been a perfect weekend if my Michigan Wolverines had been able to actually win their football game on Saturday (a loss that I am sure Dan Mills thoroughly enjoyed). Oh, well…I am now permanently located in New Haven and will start a postdoctoral position with the VA/Yale, as well as a consulting position with a private research firm and teaching classes.” (Congratulations Kyle!  And maybe you’ll even have time for a cup of coffee with me!)

Wendell Wallach writes: “I heard last week that I was a finalist for a  World Technology Network Award this year. Having won the Ethics award last year, I was surprised to be nominated in another category.  WTN is one of the very few organizations that gives an award for ethics.  Jim Clark, Founder and Chairmen of the WTN, deserves recognition and appreciation for putting a lot of effort into creating a community among those working on technology and in related fields.” (Congratulations Wendell!)

Sundar Layalu is married, has moved to Virginia, is expecting twins early next year (a boy and a girl), and in the process of job hunting. (Good Luck Sundar – on all fronts!)

The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network (CBC) is doing a series titled “The Hidden Stories of Surrogacy.”  It tells the stories of women who served as surrogates and had life-threatening complications.

The ASBH (American Society for Bioethics and Humanities) Annual Meeting is October 22-25, 2015, at the Hilton Americas, Houston, Texas. If anyone is planning to attend, please contact Shari Esquenazi (esquens@mail.amc.edu), who lives in Houston and wants to meet with you. (All of you who were at Yale last summer and received your pins, please wear them at this meeting, so you will be recognized by other alumni!)

The Hastings Center Report for September-October 2015 focused on several very interesting topics: (1) “Intuitions, Emotions, and Reasons in the Enhancement Debate”; (2) “Limits of Responsibility: Genome Editing, Asilomar, and the Politics of Deliberation”; (3) “Why Training in Ecological Research Must Incorporate Ethics Education”; and (4) “Perspective: Having Conversations about Organ Donation.”

Tulio Rubio-Rodriguez sent an interesting article that I want to share with you.  (Thank you Tulio!)

The Underserved Doubt Of The Antivaxxer,” Patrick Stokes, Ethics.org, October 20, 2015

Guiomar Micol Levi Setti writes: “At imp!act, you get together with 20-40 enthusiastic young people from all over Europe.  After some crazy brainstorming and team building, you develop your own social or environmental project and set out to test it right away.  You also have the chance to get feedback by renowned experts – all of that within only 3.5 days!  Because talking about the world's problems won't solve them – but your project might.”  Please visit this page to get more information: http://euforia.org/impact#impact-about

Evie Lindemann passed along an interesting article titled “10 Countries With The Best Care For The Dying.”  (Thanks Evie!)

And I want to pass along a very special article on “empathy.”

A Short History of Empathy: the term has only been around for about a century, but over the course of its existence, its meaning has continually changed,” Susan Lanzoni, The Atlantic, October 15, 2015

In a column for The New York Times this past January, Nicholas Kristof lamented what he called the country’s “empathy gap,” imploring his readers to grasp the complex circumstances that could plunge someone into poverty. Meanwhile, the psychologist Paul Bloom has argued that a sense of empathy can actually be “parochial [and] bigoted,” making it so “the whole world cares more about a little girl stuck in a well than they do about the possible deaths of millions and millions due to climate change.” For Kristof, empathy is a willingness to understand an individual’s situation, a cognitive and emotional exercise that could in turn inspire compassion. For Bloom, empathy is a blinding emotion that can preclude more rational thinking. In the first case, empathy reduces stereotypical thinking; in the second, empathy as emotion-sharing draws too much attention to an individual, standing in the way of effective social change

Please see the Articles Section I prepared for you!


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This Week on Campus


Program for Biomedical Ethics and Yale Pediatric Ethics Program Present:

Douglas Hood, PA

"A Case in Neonaticide: Evaluation of a Connecticut Case"

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM. Open to the Public.


Animal Ethics Group of Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics presents:

Cheryl Rosa, DVM, PhD, Deputy Director, US Arctic Research Commission

Arctic Entanglements: Welfare & Survival of Large Whales

5:15 PM, ISPS. Open to the public.

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Conferences & Off Campus Events

The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities is happening today and through the weekend in Houston. Conference details are here.

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Grants, Fellowships, & Jobs

The Gilead Sciences Research Scholars Program in HIV provides financial support to the institutions of 4 junior faculty researchers for a 2-year period. Each award is funded up to $130,000 (inclusive of any indirect costs), to be paid in annual installments of up to $65,000 per year for 2 years. Deadline for application is December 11. Details here.

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy seeks a post-doctoral fellow to help advance its work in ethics and health information technology or biomedical informatics. Details here.

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Calls for Papers & Nominations

The Hastings Center and the Cunniff-Dixon Foundation have opened the nomination process for the distinguished Hastings Center/Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards for 2016. The goal of these annual awards is to recognize and support excellence in physician care near the end of life. Nominations are due by November 30th; nomination details are here.

The Journal of Medical Humanities announces a call for papers for a special issue that will be focused on health humanities teaching and engagement at the pre-professional (undergraduate/baccalaureate or post-bacc) level. For this issue, JMH is seeking three types of submissions: critical articles (abstracts due November 1); brief overviews of existing baccalaureate-level programs (due June 1); and short (500 word or less) reflections from students, health practitioners, and health educators who have completed Pre-Health Humanities programs or coursework on the value and influence of their health humanities training (also due June 1). Details here.

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Articles of Interest

To read the full text of an article, click on its link and it will open in a new window.  

Some sites may require free registration; others may require that you or your organization have a paid subscription.

In the News


"Shift in vaccine use needed to eradicate polio: WHO experts," Economic Times, Oct. 24

"WHO recommends pilot demo projects for world's first Malaria vaccine," Live Mint, Oct. 24

Assisted Reproduction

"IVF insurance connected to fewer multiple births," Medscape, Oct. 21

"At 44, IVF is costly and often pointless, Quebec study says, with nearly $600,000 spend in vain," National Post, Oct. 19

"New DNA test for embryos could boost IVF success rates," The Guardian, Oct. 19

"Terminally-ill New Yorkers lose lawsuit to overturn assisted-suicide ban," New York Post, oct. 19

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New York Times

"Debate: The promise of genetic testing in medicine," Oct. 22

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Please visit our website at bioethics.yale.edu.

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