The Center for the Study of Democratic Politics is sponsoring a one-day symposium on the politics of biomedical research. The goal of the symposium is to investigate the impact of different types of information flows (specifically scientific, political and market) on the policy process and outcomes in biomedical research in the United States.
Since 1989 with the advent of the Human Genome Project, biomedical research has experienced three significant changes. First, the rapid pace of technology transfer in biomedical research often outpaces existing standards and procedures within the scientific community. Second, the fluid relationships between research, market and policy communities within biomedical research are often governed by imperatives that create conflicts of interests. Third, advances in areas such as reproductive genetics, neuroscience, and pharmacogenetics have fundamentally altered the public and policy discourse around issues of privacy of information (e.g., does consent of one member family to provide genetic information violate the privacy of other family members?) and the role and nature of the scientific enterprise and its relationship to the public marketplace (e.g., should scientific findings funded by the federal government be considered part of the public domain or subject to proprietary strictures?). Which groups or interests should have rights in profit sharing in the fruits of medical research? Should patients’ rights be limited?
This symposium brings together leading scholars and practitioners in the fields of molecular biology, medical genetics, political science, public policy, health policy, law, and bioethics to address these concerns.