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ELSI Friday Forum 2022

Advocacy and Allyship in ELSI: Opportunities and Challenges


Objectivity is a weight-bearing pillar in scientific inquiry, a norm to ensure that research and its outcomes are “value free” and unaffected by subjective value judgement. Yet ELSI research, as a field, is also poised to engage, take stands, and advocate for science-based policies and courses of actions that respond to societal needs. ELSI researchers and professional genetic associations face vexing questions about how to balance the two goals and responsibilities, especially amidst intense political polarization. What are the responsibilities of individuals and organizations involved in ELSI research? How are topics for collective policymaking selected, developed, and implemented? What are the limitations and challenges in building like-minded coalitions and influencing practice? What are the risks and benefits associated with advocacy in ELSI and the trade-offs between them? Building on real-world events, such as the Dobbs decision and Buffalo shooter’s manifesto, and statements by professional genetic organizations such as the American Society for Human Genetics and Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics, this webinar will explore the value, importance, upsides, and downsides of advocacy and allyship in ELSI research.

Join the discussion with panelists Kyle Brothers, MD, PhD and Shoumita Dasgupta, PhD, moderated by Robert Cook-Deegan, MD.



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