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Sawyier Philosophy Lecture: "Being a Kid in the Genomic Age"

Join the Department of Humanities for the Fall 2019 Sawyier Lecture in Philosophy featuring Debra JH Mathews. Mathews will present "Being a Kid in the Genomic Age: What are our responsibilities to children who participate in research?"

Although children have long been considered a vulnerable class of research subjects, dramatic advances in science, commerce, and social media, and expanded use of previously private data by law enforcement, have shifted the risk/benefit calculus for the participation of children in research involving tissue and genetic data, suggesting that we must revisit our policies to ensure that they are consonant with our ethical obligations to children in the modern genomic age.

Debra JH Mathews, PhD, MA, is the Assistant Director for Science Programs for the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. As the Assistant Director for Science Programs, Dr. Mathews is responsible for overseeing the Stem Cell Policy and Ethics program and the Program in Ethics and Brain Sciences, as well as other bench research-related endeavors in the Berman Institute. Her academic work focuses on ethics and policy issues raised by emerging biotechnologies, with particular focus on genetics, stem cell science, neuroscience and synthetic biology. She is also a member of the steering committee of The Hinxton Group, an international collective of scientists, ethicists, policymakers and others, interested in ethical and well-regulated science, and whose work focuses primarily on stem cell research. She has been an active member of the International Neuroethics Society since 2006 and has served on the Society’s Board of Directors since 2015.

The event will begin at 2:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served at 2 p.m. For more information, please contact Warren Schmaus at



Sep 20, 2:30pm to 5:00pm


John T. Rettaliata Engineering Center (RE), Room 104