A list of upcoming events and conferences on a variety of bioethics issues. Events are sourced from leading bioethics centers and forums across the country as well as internationally.


The Ethics of What Everybody Knows: Bringing Forward the Backstories in Clinical Encounters

December 6, 2022

12 PM Central Time, Virtual

"In this lecture, Dr. Bartlett will explore the practice of listening-and-telling stories in clinical ethics encounters, identify complicating (and often overlooked) contextual factors, and suggest strategies for eliciting patients’ and clinicians’ stories. Virginia L. Bartlett, Ph.D., is the Assistant Director of the Center for Healthcare Ethics and Associate Professor in Biomedical Sciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California (USA). She serves as a clinical ethics consultant, provides ethics education across the medical center and community, serves on institutional, local, and national boards and task forces, and researches the practices and contexts of clinical ethics consultation."

ASBH DEI Webinar: Antiracist Praxis in Bioethics: Implications for Health Equity

December 8, 2022

1 PM Central Time, Virtual

"This presentation will consider the ways in which antiracist praxis offers strategies to explicitly address structural racism and inequities in the field of bioethics. This presentation will also highlight the importance of prioritizing antiracism in bioethics scholarship, education and practice to advance health equity. Speaker: Faith Fletcher, PhD MA, with an introduction by ASBH Secretary Sabrina Derrington, MD MA HEC-C."

ELSI Friday Forum | Genetic Advantages in Sports: When Do They Count as "Doping"?

December 9, 2022

12 PM Eastern Time, Virtual

"What is the essence of sports, and how does that impact the way doping is defined? The sports world is already preparing for an inevitable wave of "gene-doping" as gene-transfer technologies advance and become more widely available to all ages. On the one side, genetic modifications that improve human performance can be considered enhancements that threaten fair competition. However, gene transfer technologies can be used for a wide range of characteristics, thus blurring the lines between therapy and enhancement. This gray zone requires reflections and decisions on whether there is a moral difference between a genetic advantage that is inherited versus acquired. Could gene-transfer be a way of leveling the playing field? Or does it threaten the essence of sports fundamentally? Panelist: Sarah Polcz, JSD, MSc, JD (Stanford Law School); Panelist: Silvia Camporesi, PhD, PhD (King's College London, University of Vienna); Moderator: Thomas H. Murray, PhD (The Hastings Center)"

HMS Bioethics: What is Essential? Selecting the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines

December 9, 2022

12:30 PM Eastern Time, Virtual

"The Model List of Essential Medicines of the World Health Organization (WHO) identifies priority drugs for low- and middle-income countries to include in health service coverage. The List influences formulary choices around the world and affects access to medications for millions of people. Thus, the list functions as both guidance and a political tool. Four international prescription drug experts will join us to discuss the List, challenges facing the selection of medicines, and how to promote fair access to important drugs. Discussants: Nicola Magrini, Director General, AIFA—Italian Medicines Agency; Wilbert Bannenberg, Partner, HERA and Chairperson, Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation. Moderators: Kerstin Vokinger, Professor for Law, Medicine, and Technology, University of Zurich; Thomas Hwang, Clinical Fellow in Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School"

NYU-Gold Webinar: Equity and Diversity in Clinical Research

December 14, 2022

5:30 PM Eastern Time, Virtual

"“Equity and Diversity in Clinical Research” will air with a live Q&A with Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, David M. Oshinsky, PhD, Aisha Langford, MPH, PhD, and Julie Sowash on December 14, 5:30-6:30 p.m. ET."

UNC Bioethics: Beyond the Medical: Genetic Testing for Social Traits

January 20, 2023

12 PM Eastern Time, Virtual

"In traditional predictive genetic testing, single gene variants are analyzed to determine whether individuals are at high risk of developing disease. The vast majority of diseases, however, are polygenic—caused by many different genes. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) hold promise to predict risk for complex diseases like heart disease or diabetes by measuring the contribution of hundreds of genetic variants at once. Yet beyond prediction of medical outcomes, the realm of ‘sociogenomics’ is developing polygenic scores (PGS) measuring genetic contributions to social traits and behavioral factors, such as income, educational attainment, sexuality, and optimism. This presentation will present initial findings of a newly-funded NIH grant to study these complex scores. Presenters: Anya Prince & Jean Cadigan"


American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) Conference

Reimagining and Claiming the Role of Public Bioethics and Health Humanities

October 26–29, 2022; In-person at Portland, OR

"ASBH’s 24th Annual Conference examines the role of bioethics and the health humanities in understanding some of our most pressing public controversies and concerns. It will critically explore the transformations that bioethics and the health humanities have undergone in both their evolution as fields and their engagement with the public as highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference will address critical questions such as: How can we reckon with past failings and rebuild trust among diverse communities? How might the public face of bioethics continue to shift over the coming years? How can we recognize the connections between bioethics and the health humanities, and use these intersections to propel us toward solutions to pressing public problems?"

American Society of Human Genetics

October 25-29, 2022; In-person at Los Angeles, CA

From 2021: "The ASHG 2021 Virtual Meeting will bring the global human genetics and genomics research community together for multiple days of cutting-edge science across all areas of human genetics."

Annual Dorothy J. MacLean Conference on Clinical Medical Ethics

Annually held in November each year

From 2021: "This year's MacLean Center conference will bring together 40 of the most innovative and respected clinicians in the field of Clinical Medical Ethics. Most of our speakers will be physician-ethicists and they will include Drs. Peter Angelos, Megan Applewhite, Marshall Chin, Farr Curlin, Richard Gunderman, Jason Karlawish, Eric Kodish, John Lantos, Alvin Moss, Monica Peek, Preston Reynolds, Laura Roberts, Selwyn Rogers, Lainie Ross, David Schiedermayer, Peter A. Singer, Giuliano Testa, Susan Tolle, Alexia Torke, Peter Ubel, and 20 additional outstanding clinical ethics scholars. The exceptional lectures will address the following topics: the Covid-19 pandemic, health policy and health disparities, surgical ethics, ethical issues in end-of-life care, pediatrics and family ethics, clinical ethics decision-making and, of course, the field of Clinical Medical Ethics."

Annual Pediatric Bioethics Conference

Annually held in November each year

From 2021: "Wolfson Children’s Hospital, in partnership with the Florida Bioethics Network, presents the 14th Annual Pediatric Bioethics Conference. This year it will be a virtual conference with talks on pressing issues by experts in the field and will serve as fertile ground for the development and clarification of best practices in pediatric bioethics."

Reproductive Ethics Conference

Seventh Annual Conference

January 12-13, 2023, In-person at Galveston, TX

"The controversies and challenges of reproductive ethics arise from new technologies, political and ideological divisions, theology, and changing cultural norms. The goal of this conference is to explore the range of topics addressed in reproductive ethics. We welcome individuals from all professional fields to create a rich and robust discussion."

National Nursing Ethics Conference

Ethical Reflection: Finding Our Way Forward

Annually held in March each year

From 2022: "The challenges nurses face today are monumental. They arise from the many expectations that come from patients and families, the institutions in which we work, and our professional identity within society. The reckoning with the global pandemic has highlighted the challenges we face including: our work environments, systemic racism, and disparities in healthcare. Recognizing and honoring what feels broken, we need to make space for meaning and healing, to consider a bigger picture and to imagine what is possible as we move ahead. One path is through moral agency – reflecting on perceptions of right and wrong, giving voice to ethical issues, and taking steps forward. Integrating our Code of Ethics for Nurses, the new Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice, and the latest Future of Nursing Report, we acknowledge the need for an expanded discussion of ethics which embraces our roles in caring, advocacy, and promoting respect, equity, inclusion, and social justice. This conference will build ethics knowledge and skills; foster support for others in our ethical practice; address collective responses to the challenges at hand; and encourage engagement with our colleagues, institutions, and communities. In our pursuits to learn more, we honor our commitment to take care of not only our patients, but one another. "

Advances in Precision Medicine: Genomic Innovation and Precision Medicine: Reading, Imaging, Editing, and Writing the Genome

Annually held in March each year; Virtual & In-person at Columbia University

From 2022: "A virtual attendance option will be provided to registrants. A key objective of the conference is to provide an up-to-date perspective on the impact of genomic technologies on understanding the functional consequences of disease-associated DNA sequence variation on cellular and organismic function. For example, technologies that simultaneously interrogate RNA transcription, chromatin modification and chromosome structure in individual cells (multi-omics) are making it possible to probe deeply into the functional consequences of DNA sequence variation that associates with disease (at single cell, and single molecule, and atomic resolution). International leaders in the development and application of these technologies will come together to discuss progress and challenges."

Arizona Bioethics Network 10th Annual Conference

Making Space: Ethics and Neurodiversity

Postponed to Spring 2023

"The presenters will be examining “Making Space: Ethics and Neurodiversity.” This includes a historical look at the place of neurodiversity in medicine, the ethics in the diagnosis, treatment, search for genetic cause, and how the search for treatment may make parents or patients vulnerable to ineffective treatments."

Asia-Pacific Bioethics Education Network 2022 Online Conference

Annually held in May each year; Virtual

From 2022: "The Asia Pacific Bioethics Education Network (APBEN) is holding its fourth annual conference wholly online between 21st and 22nd May 2022. The conference will be co-hosted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Asian Medical Student Association Monash Malaysia (AMSA Monash Malaysia). Our 2022 theme - The New Norm of Professionalism, Bioethics and Beyond - recognizes the emerging challenges pose to the teaching and practice of Professionalism and Bioethics. We look forward to a collaborative environment where educators and healthcare practitioners come together to initiate and engage in discussions that lead to new ideas and research."

Harvard Medical School Annual Bioethics Conference

Biotechnology and the Future of Medicine

Not held in 2022; usually held in June.

From 2021: "The practice of medicine over the course of the last fifty years has changed dramatically. Novel technological developments will continue to generate new discoveries, therapies, and patient outcomes. Recent advances in intertwined areas, such as stem cell-based bioengineering, organoid technology, low-cost personal genome sequencing, machine learning, and human genome editing have the potential to create more effective, personalized medical treatments. But as we progress toward this biotechnologically-driven medical future, we must consider how ethical values can shape these advancements and vice versa. This online conference will examine how ethics interacts with biotechnology in medicine, and consider multiple approaches to how we might ensure that biotechnology continues to evolve ethically and for the benefit of all."

Harvard Surgical Ethics Conference

June 6-27, 2022, Virtual

From 2022: "The Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School is pleased to offer a virtual Surgical Ethics Conference over four weeks in June. Each week will feature a different topic that will explore timely and controversial questions in surgery today."

Oxford Global Health and Bioethics International Conference

June 27-28, 2021, In-person at Oxford, UK (and some sessions virtual)

From 2022: "The Oxford Global Health and Bioethics International Conference takes place every two years. It aims to foster comprehensive multi-disciplinary debate and addresses critically important ethical issues in the conception and implementation of Global Health."

Precision Medicine Annual Conference

The New "Normal"?

September 20, 2022; In-person at Boston, MA, Harvard's Joseph B. Martin Conference Center

From 2022: "This year our annual conference will focus on novel applications as well as long-standing challenges of genetic testing, a measurement modality central to precision medicine.* While the clinical applications of genetic testing have broadened from a single gene focus to increasingly available whole genome sequencing and genome-wide risk scores, there remains much confusion around the appropriate evidentiary standards for their use in clinical practice and in R&D. This conference will provide a platform to discuss foundational questions such as the nature of “normal” genetic variation in the context of both established forms of testing and cutting-edge technology. To achieve these goals, we will convene expert scientists from academia and industry who are developing new applications and technologies of genetic testing as well as laboratory directors and individuals responsible for guidelines on variant interpretation. We will frame these discussions around how best to improve precision medicine for all populations. As we have done in years past, we will center on elevating the patient voice and building patient engagement."

Western Michigan University Medical Humanities Conference

12th Annual Conference

September 22-23, 2022; Undecided if In-person or Virtual

From 2022: "This annual conference considers perspectives on the intersection of the humanities and health, including patient narratives, the history of medicine and healthcare, biomedical ethics, spirituality, arts, and literature. Due to an evolving situation regarding COVID-19, we are currently unsure whether the conference will be held physically, virtually, or hybridized. The call for abstracts is now available; abstracts are due by June 1, 2022."