Does genetic and genomic screening keep open the door to eugenics? - Roundtable discussion, 25th May

Nicola Sugden's picture

NHGRI invites you to join a conversation on the complexities surrounding historical and present-day eugenics, scientific racism and ableism in the context of genetic and genomic screening and diagnostic technologies.  

  • What are the historical connections between the eugenics movement and genetic counseling -- and their continuing legacies today?  
  • How are ethical and scientific experts addressing the development of contemporary genetic counseling, reproductive choice, and clinically informed decision-making?  
  • How can the scientific community discuss health, disease and disability in an empathetic way?  

We’ve asked an internationally recognized group of experts, uniquely spanning humanistic and scientific expertise, to help answer these questions and more.  We will also answer select questions from registered audience members.  

Eugenics, scientific and structural racism -- as well as ableism -- are essential elements of the complex inheritance of genetics, genomics and the Human Genome Project. Panelists will also address significant societal, bioethical and philosophical issues, such as those surrounding preimplantation genetic diagnosis, noninvasive prenatal testing, and newborn sequencing and screening. 

When: Wednesday, May 25 from 1-3:00 p.m. ET  

Where: Register now  

What: Roundtable discussion, “Does genetic and genomic screening keep open the door to eugenics?”

Who: Rebecca Mueller (University of Pennsylvania), Vardit Ravitsky (University of Montreal), Michael Rembis (The University at Buffalo), Camisha Russell (University of Oregon), Alexandra Minna Stern (University of Michigan), Joy Boyer (NHGRI), Christopher Donohue (NHGRI), Lori Erby (NHGRI), Eric Green (NHGRI) 

This event is an extension of our historic symposium addressing the history of eugenics and scientific racism ( and their complex legacies in the modern health sciences.    

This event is free and open to the public. The symposium will be recorded and later archived on GenomeTV (

For additional information about this event, please contact Britny Kish at

Sign language interpreting and CART services are available upon request to participate in this event. Individuals needing either of these services and/or other reasonable accommodations should contact Britny Kish at, 240-381-1283. Requests should be made at least five days in advance. To access Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), call 711

We hope you will consider joining us for this important event. Feel free to share with your colleagues and across your networks. 

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