Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University

Architectures for Life

April 18, 2012, 9:00am–4:30pm
Room 119, Maxwell Dworkin Hall, 33 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA :: Harvard University


Recent developments in genomic and communication technologies are prompting shifts in the social, institutional and ethical architectures of biomedicine. Examples include direct-to-consumer genetic testing and crowd-sourced, “citizen-science” epidemiological research using smartphones and the web. These new architectures promise a gold rush of information and biospecimens that may provide a foundation for a more precise, personalized, and targeted medicine. They are also attracting new actors and new modes of participation that have the potential to enhance but also to destabilize established patterns of ethical, legal, and social responsibilities in biomedicine. How will these changing patterns of research and discovery affect citizens, consumers, donors, patients, physicians, researchers, and companies? This event, combining a public lecture and one-day workshop, explores these questions with a group of leaders spanning the biomedical sciences and engineering, social sciences, humanities, and industry.


For a compilation of information on the program participants, please visit the Biographies page.


For related meetings, background policy reports and commentaries, please visit the Workshop Resources page.


Note that this workshop is preceded by a Science and Democracy Lecture by Anne Wojcicki, CEO and Co-Founder of 23andMe, on April 17, 2012. Watch the video. 


8:45-9am ::  Welcome and Introduction

9-10am :: Panel 1: The New Infrastructures of Knowledge Moderator: Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law School

Watch the video of the opening remarks and Panel #1.

10-10:45am :: General discussion 10:45-11:00 :: Coffee break 11am-noon :: Reflections Chair: Ben Hurlbut, Arizona State University

Watch the video of the reflections session.

Noon-1:30 :: Lunch 1:30-2:30pm :: Panel 2: Implications for Society Chair: Krishanu Saha, MIT, Whitehead Institute Moderator: Glenn Cohen, Harvard Law School (Petrie-Flom Center)

Watch the video of panel 2.

2:30-3:15pm :: General discussion 3:15-3:30 :: Coffee break 3:30-4:30pm :: Summary and Outlook Chair: Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard Kennedy School

Watch the video of the last session.

Co-sponsored by the Harvard University Center for the Environment, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. ::