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.


Therapeutic Misconception in Clinical Research: What Is It and Why Should We Care?

February 9, 2023

12:15 PM Eastern Time, Virtual

"This lecture will define the concept of therapeutic misconception in clinical research, review the empirical data regarding its prevalence, and analyze whether and when it threatens the validity of informed consent. Speaker: Steven Joffe, MD, MPH, Art and Ilene Penn Professor, Chair, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Moderators: Melissa E. Abraham, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Course Instructor in Medical Ethics, Harvard Medical School; Rebecca Li, PhD, Board Member and Executive Director, Vivli."

ELSI Friday Forum | Indigenizing Genomics and Advancing Indigenous Data Sovereignty

February 10, 2023

12 PM Eastern Time, Virtual

"Indigenous peoples have embodied genetic understanding within Indigenous knowledge systems long before encountering settler-science constructs. Mātauranga Māori was the dominant knowledge system in Aotearoa/New Zealand, with developed concepts of inheritance utilized in agriculture, social systems, family, and identity. The Diné (Navajo) people incorporated understanding of genetics through k’é or clanship systems and through artificial selection in cultivation practices. Through colonization, these Indigenous knowledge systems were displaced by western science, and Indigenous participation in scientific activity was minimized and devalued. Now, genomics is at the leading edge of decolonizing policy and cultural changes, rapidly moving to a model where research is led by and for Indigenous peoples. For instance, genomics research is increasingly led by Māori scientists, communities, and companies providing employment and skills growth...(Read more on ELSIhub). Panelist: Phillip Wilcox, BForSci (Hons), PhD (University of Otago); Panelist: Krystal Tsosie, PhD, MPH, MA (Arizona State University, Native BioData Consortium); Moderator: Josephine Johnston, LLB, MBHL (The Hastings Center, University of Otago)"

Unpacking Neglected Social Factors to Ensure Impact

February 7, 2023

2 PM Eastern Time, Virtual

"It is imperative to understand the social and ethical roots of our present conversations about health inequalities, in order to partner intelligently with the public, researchers, and policymakers for real impact. Since its inception, the field of bioethics has worked in core concepts of justice and equity, and considerations of social and political context. But these presenters push for a reorientation toward transformative justice, and a broader understanding of social determinants of health. Join the panelists for a boundary pushing conversation."

Treatment Over Objection

March 29, 2023

12 PM Eastern Time, Virtual and in-person at Columbia

"Katherine Fischkoff, MD is a general and acute care surgeon, with a special interest in medical ethics. Dr. Fischkoff’s clinical skills and research expertise have earned her recognition as Medical Director for the Surgical Step Down Unit and Vice-Chair of the Department of Surgery’s Quality and Patient Safety Committee. She has produced influential research in the field of medical ethics to help clarify the role of the surgeon in difficult ethical situations. During the COVID pandemic, she led the way in developing standard-of-care recommendations to guide the diverse and numerous ethics challenges faced by all healthcare workers."


National Nursing Ethics Conference

It’s Complicated: Responding Ethically from the Beginning to the End of Life

March 23-24, 2023, Virtual

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. "

Arizona Bioethics Network 10th Annual Conference


"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

Annually held in June each year

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."

American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) Conference

Engaging the Past to Energize the Future: Creating Space for Inclusive Public Discourse

October 14-17, 2023; In-person at Baltimore, MD

"The 25th anniversary of ASBH is an opportunity for us as a community to reconsider the role of bioethics and humanities in society. For example, how best to respond to divisive policies and frame honest and open discussions with those with whom we disagree. Part of this reconsideration calls for creating spaces—physical or otherwise—that facilitate interaction and deliberation. In that vein, the 2023 ASBH Annual Conference will address critical questions including: How can we frame conversations and debates to identify substantive discussion points without resorting to pure rhetoric? How best can we solicit the perspectives of key stakeholders when making decisions with broad implications? How can we destructuralize racism and other biases routinely built into healthcare access?"

American Society of Human Genetics

Annually held in end of October each year

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

Annually held in January each year

"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."