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Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies

Greetings from Stephen Latham, Bioethics Center Director


Happy 2016. We're back and the new semester's begun; I'm busy hiring TFs for my large spring Bioethics and Law lecture course, and trying to line up rooms for springtime events.

We have some excellent events planned. First, on Thursday January 28, our Animal Ethics group will host a public lecture from John F. Calvelli, EVP for Public Affairs of the Wildlife Conservation Society and Director of their “96 Elephants” campaign. The campaign is named for the number of elephants killed each day by poachers. John will talk to us about worldwide efforts to end the illegal ivory trade—a trade now being run not by scattered individual poachers but by members of global terror groups, who organize systematic poaching in order to use ivory money as a funding source for their activities. The talk, co-sponsored by the Peabody Museum of Natural History, will begin at 4:15pm, location still to be announced because of start-of-term room-scheduling havoc. Stay tuned!

Next, on Wednesday, February 3, our colleagues at the Medical School's Program for Biomedical Ethics will host Mildred Solomon (President of The Hastings Center) speaking on "Allocating resources wisely: Willful blindness, unbridled choice and other ethical errors." Her talk will be in the Cohen Auditorium of the Child Study Center,from 5pm to 6:30. Details at the link!

I'm excited to say that in late March, after spring break, the Bioethics Center will be bringing John Ioannides (Disease Prevention and Epidemiology, Stanford) to campus as our Robert J. Levine Lecturer. Dr. Iaonnides is a leader in evidence-based medicine and an important critical analyst of study design in medical research. Details in future issues of this Friday Newsletter!

Congratulations to Bioethics Center Scholar Joel Marks on his publication, in the New Yorker, of a letter commenting on the dangers to earth of asteroid and comet impact.

If you have an event or a milestone you'd like to see mentioned in this newsletter, email me at Stephen.Latham@Yale.edu with the word "Frimail" in your subject-line.

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Updates from the Summer Institute

From Summer Institute Director Carol Pollard

Happy New Year and Welcome back to the beginning of our 2016 Frimail (our e-newsletter).  This past Holiday Season brought many messages from our past students and instructors.

Marcin Michalak, Antao Ye, Montserrat Hernandez, and Maribel Yerena sent Holiday Greetings to all of us!

Associate Director Elin Doval spent part of the December Holiday Season in Madrid with our past students, the Provost, and President at the European University of Madrid.  Click here to see pictures of our past students and also Elin with the President of the University.

Gul Shahid is hosting Professor John Hare, from Yale’s Divinity School, at Punjab University, in Lahore, Pakistan. “Professor Hare will deliver the Iqbal Memorial Lecture in my Philosophy Department.” Professor Hare brought two gifts with him for Gul: a book he wrote and a tie that belonged to his father R.M. Hare. (Congratulations Gul!  Please click here for a photo!)

Mayli Mertens writes:I wish you a fantastic 2016!! To start off in the best possible way, I wanted to share some news with you. Remember that paper of mine you read on war reporting? I ended up adapting it, including some of Erik Parens's ideas on binocularity, and sending it in to the Annual Conference of the APPE (Association for Practical and Professional Ethic) and it got accepted :-)  I will be presenting it at their 25th Annual Conference in February in Reston, Virginia.” Thank you so much for all your great feedback and encouragement!  (Congratulations Mayli!)

Saara Akhtar writes: “Hi everyone! Hope you are all having a great start to the New Year! The annual LSE Amnesty International Journal is looking for contributors and I thought this might be a chance for your students to showcase their work. We are looking for formats including, but not limited to, opinion pieces, academic works (e.g. formative and/or summative assessments), artwork, poems, short stories, testimonies. The 2016 edition of the journal will focus on Global Governance and Human Rights, in light of the UN’s 70th anniversary. We are looking to organize it around four themes: refugee rights and global migration; the environment and climate change; global health and HIV/AIDS; and LGBTI rights. This is subject to change depending on the contributions we receive and we are thus open to submissions that do not necessarily fit within one or more of these themes specifically. The deadline for submissions is January 31st, 2016.” Anyone who is interested or has further questions can get in touch with the Editor-in-Chief, Margot Charles, at lseamnesty.publications@gmail.com. (Thank you Saara! I hope you get some responses!)

Zohar Lederman would like you to know about the Call for Submissions from Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine on the topic “Patients, Providers and Pets: One Health for All.” Click here for more details!

Kandace Geldmeier writes: “I got another paper accepted for presentation! I am presenting at the Albany Medical College conference "Reproductive Ethics: New Challenges and Conversations," April 8-9!  The paper is titled: "Parenting the Stillborn Baby." (Congratulations Kandace!)

Dan Callahan will be addressing the 12th Annual Conference on Clinical Ethics Consultation, May 19-22, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC. To register for the Conference, please visit <iccec2016.com>  (Congratulations Dan!)

Jack Kanouzi was just asked to be a member of the Yale University Plastic Surgery Department mission going to Nicaragua March 12 – 20 to operate on those in need. (Congratulations Jack!)

The Penn Bioethics Journal has a Call for Bioethics Papers for undergraduates.  They encourage the submission of papers that were written for courses, particularly standout final papers from the Fall semester or quarter. The deadline for Spring 2016 is January 18th. For more information, please see bioethicsjournal.com

Unite for Sight sponsors the Global Impact Corps, a hands-on, immersive and unique global health volunteer abroad experience.  Positions in Ghana, Honduras, and India are now being filled.  Please check it out: uniteforsight.org. And don’t forget the Global Health & Innovation Conference, April 16-17, at Yale University!  Registration info at the link!

Guiomar Micol Levi Setti writes: “Hi everyone! I hope the New Year is treating you well. I wanted to share with you my first publication that is a condensed version of my Master’s thesis on Child Protection and Ebola Response. I hope you will enjoy it, and I will be happy to have your feedback! Here is the link of the publication (my work is at pp. 44-49) that gives experiences, lessons learned and case studies analysed by the students (my fellow classmates) enrolled in the XII Edition of the Master in Human Rights and Conflict Management course offered by the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. (Congratulations Guiomar!)

Helen Smith writes: “We perhaps have had too much warm weather here in Adelaide with a week over 43 degrees Celsius (Over a 110 F) before Christmas and more extreme heat last week. It certainly makes evenings at the beach very pleasant! I am pursuing my interest, inspired by the Summer Institute, in ethics mediation and have signed up for a mediation course in March. I can’t wait to continue my knowledge and skill development…I thought our Alums and others in Europe may be interested in this conference. I am really hoping to attend the Alumni Weekend in July, so hope to see you then.”  (Thanks for the heads-up on the Conference, and please do come for Alumni Weekend!  It would be great to see you again.)

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim are in the news! Below are two audio recordings featuring Mary Evelyn Tucker. The first is of a panel at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion on the topic of “The Moral and Political Dimensions of Climate Change.” This panel was hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations' Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative and features Erin Lothes Biviano, Mitchell C. Hescox, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and John Grim. The second audio recording is of an interview with Mary Evelyn Tucker on Unity Online Radio. In this interview, hosted by Reverend Kristin Powell, Mary Evelyn discusses the Journey of the Universe project, as well as Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change. Journey of the Universe, an acclaimed documentary by Mary Evelyn and Brian Swimme, has a Facebook page that we invite you to visit. For a list of stores where the Journey project is available, visit: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/buy/

Congratulations to Aseel Alawadi who is now engaged and will be married in February. She will be presenting at our Symposium for Returning Students and Teachers in late May, so we can celebrate with her at that time! (Click here for a picture of the engaged couple!)

Congratulations to Justin Stahl and Gelareh Homayounfar!  Gelareh writes: “Justin and I are so happy to announce our recent engagement! We got engaged in Maui on my birthday; it was the best present. We often think how lucky we were to have met at Yale’s Bioethics Summer Institute and to have your support. Love, Gelareh and Justin” (Please click here for a picture!)

Congratulations to Marta Dabis who is adding an MDiv degree to her resume!

Rebecca Oliver writes: “I am still in Thailand; it has been a great experience. I will actually be serving as the "western perspective" on a bioethics panel at the school of nursing at the university where I am currently teaching. I am looking forward to this opportunity, as it should be a great teaching and learning experience. I hope this New Year is full of great things for you!”  (Congratulations and Thank You  Rebecca! Sounds like you are having/will have a great experience in Thailand.)

Selena Marshall writes: “So what have I've been doing these days aside from baking: I have been doing school evaluations, and now I'm writing a grant for the Community School Initiative. The idea is to make schools a resource center not just for students, but for families in the community. Some schools have mental and physical health services (so that students do not lapse in each area.) GED prep for parents, job placement for parents, etc… it a comprehensive program but beneficial. I've been doing the research on this program since Graduate school.  I'm excited to see a school district interested in this national model. I'm revising my work and presenting to them next month. It's a great experience!” (Congratulations Selena! Hopefully see you on campus in June!)

Sumaya Noush writes: “First off, Happy New Year!  I just came across a health policy memo that reports on the extension to the FDA deadline for comments on whether or not the term "natural" should be attached to food labels. Currently, the FDA is relying on a really broad definition of "natural" from 1993 that basically allows a slew of products to be labeled as "natural,” even though a more critical look at these food labels would be in conflict with our common parlance understanding of "natural." There is an effort by many states to push for legislation that would prohibit the "natural food" label from being placed on food produced through genetic engineering out of concern that the FDA is not going to redefine "natural." I thought this may be an interesting development to track as we head into the summer and your trip to Monsanto. I am sure that they are pushing very hard to make sure the definition does not change, and if it does change, it is likely that their prices will rise as the costs of oversight rises.” (Thank you Sumaya!  Good Luck with the Bar Exam!  Hopefully we’ll see you back here in the summer of 2017!) 

And another message from Sumaya!

I just came across another stellar news blurb this morning about a plea to the Senate Special Committee on Aging to file a bill designed to stop brand-name drug companies from using restricted access to programs to block generic drug entry. Random that it’s the Committee on Aging, no? If only I could come and lead my Ethics of Global Pharma with Patent Perspectives seminar again this summer! This would have been the best case study! If you recall from this last year, Daraprim, an HIV treatment that has been off-patent for decades, had a 5000% price increase overnight when Turing purchased the rights. This drug had no generic competitor on the market, and recent efforts by PhRMA will make it much more difficult to facilitate the creation of generic competitors. PhRMA uses Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies to block generics from obtaining samples of brand drugs which leads to severe cost repercussions on payors, federal and otherwise. Although the debate on this all depends on one’s particular view of the value of strongly protecting innovation, my prediction is that if it winds up as a bill, it will be shot down like all of its previous versions. I thought you may want to also include it in Frimail. All my best, Sumaya”  (Thank you again!)

The January issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics (formerly Virtual Mentor) is now online.  This volume deals with “Illuminating the Art of Medicine – Patient- and Family-Centered Care, Promises and Challenges.” Please check it out!

Gerardo Velez has graduated from Cornell University and has already been accepted in least one medical school for next Fall. (Congratulations Jay! See you on campus this summer!)

James Ninia writes: “Figured I'd pass this on. Really fascinating stuff. What do you all think?  Is this a neat way for a family with the necessary financial means to cope with the loss of a pet? Or just another gross example of humankind's dominance, subjugation, and abuse of the animal kingdom, using them as a means to an end? Either way, cloning itself is cool.... in theory.... right?” (Carol’s answer: tricky….tricky….tricky….) “British Couple Celebrate After Birth of First Cloned Puppy of Its Kind,” Diane Taylor, The Guardian, December 26, 2015.

Lisa Paige Glass (Ellison-Cherney) writes: “Here is an interesting article for Frimail!  I remember when the youtube video first came out, we all had a discussion about it. This is the update!  (Thank you Lisa!)

Connie Phung writes: “I think I may be coming to Yale this summer to visit.  I also have some exciting news. I am a co-author in Blood; here is the link. I am learning a lot here at the University of Chicago and really enjoying the atmosphere.” (Congratulations Connie! Hope we do see you this summer!)

Prya Murad sent the following article: “When Dying Alone in Prison Is Too Harsh a Sentence,” Rachael Bedard, The New York Times, December 28, 2015  (Thank you Prya!)

Eleonora Gregori Ferri writes: “As you know, on December 4th I graduated with honors from the University of Bologna School of Law. First of all, thank you for your support, advice, and supervision during my stay at Yale, particularly in the writing of my research paper. In my academic acknowledgements attached to the thesis, a special thanks has been directed to you and to the Summer Institute.” (Congratulations Ele and thank you for the acknowledgement!) 

Jonathan DeWeese writes: “I have such fond memories of the Bioethics Summer Institute. I now sit on the ethics committee at my hospital. Here at Mass General Hospital it is called the "Optimum Care Committee." My experience at Yale was a great springboard into this kind of ethical deliberation and mediation. I also continue with the Spiritual Care Fellowship I mentioned to you in the last email some time ago - in addition to working as a nurse I train with the chaplaincy department with the end of incorporating the tools of chaplaincy into my nursing practice. All wonderful things! I hope you are well, too, and that this summer 2015 was as successful as the last.” (Congratulations and Good Luck with all that you are doing Jonathan!)

Pascal Thibeault writes: “An article of mine was published last month in a Canadian newspaper.”  (Congratulations Pascal!)

Please check out the Center for Genetics and Society online newsletter at: cgs@geneticsandsociety.org

The latest issues of Child Trends e-newsletter (January 7, 2016) has as one of its lead articles “What Can Schools Do to Build Resilience in their Students.”  Please check it out!  (childtrends.org)

And now for some political humor!  From newyorker.com: Iran Offers to Mediate Talks Between Republicans and Obama.”

And for a reminder of Summer 2015 – please click here!

There’s an Articles section for you here!

Carol

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Grants, Fellowships, & Jobs

The Donaghue Foundation has announced a new grant-funding opportunity for work on "Better Health for Elders in Care Facilities." Letters of intent are due by the end of February. Details at the link!

Yale's Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS has two fellowship opportunities available for post-doc and early-career HIV researchers. Details at the link!

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues has a research position open for recent (<5 years) bachelor's or master's graduates. Applications are due in early February. Details and a position description are here.

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Articles of Interest

We're revising the format of this articles section, and hope to have a new and better source of bioethics news for you in upcoming issues of the Friday Newsletter.




Please visit our website at bioethics.yale.edu.


 
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