Greetings from Stephen Latham, Director

The new academic year has begun in earnest, and with it the flow of bioethics-related events. Check out the calendar for our Animal Ethics group and tentative calendar for our Technology and Ethics group! Technology and Ethics has its first speaker this Wednesday, September 11; Charles Perrow, Yale Professor Emeritus in Sociology, will speak on “Complexity.” Details are in the listing below. And have a look at the events calendar for our sister organization, the Program for Biomedical Ethics at Yale School of Medicine. Their first event, on Thursday afternoon, features Dr. Renee Boss (Neonatology, Johns Hopkins) speaking on Palliative Care for Infants and Young Children. Details on the events site and in the listing below.

Congratulations to former visiting scholar Zohar Lederman, who has had a piece on bioethics training for EMTs accepted at the Medicine and Law Journal; the article was written and submitted during his visit here at Yale. Zohar and his wife Jess have also had a book review accepted in the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics; that piece was begun during his visit here.

If you have any news to share in this weekly newsletter, please send it to me at with the word “Frimail” in your subject line. Happy fall!

  Wednesday, September 11 at 4:15 PM
Technology & Ethics group
Location: 77 Prospect St, room A002
Speaker: Charles Perrow, Yale Professor Emeritus in Sociology
Topic: Complexity Revisited

  Updates from the Summer Institute
Campus Events

Conferences & Off Campus Events

Grants, Fellowships & Jobs


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Updates from the Summer Institute

From Associate Director Carol Pollard

Andy Sim writes: “Ending my amazing race in the U.S. with a smile & pleasant memories By God's grace and provision, I completed the NYU M.S.W program as a Zelda Fellow in End-of-Life and Palliative Studies, participated in the Yale Summer bioethics program, was accepted as a Yale-Hasting Research Scholar, survived 2 hurricanes in NYC (phew), ran 1 full marathon, 9 half marathons across the U.S & Canada (painful but oh so worth it), had the opportunity to attend multiple conferences and training programs across U.S, won the ADEC graduate student paper award, presented a poster at a conference & made many great friends through my journey... Thank God for this unique opportunity. En-route (back) to Singapore – now at John F. Kennedy Airport.”  (Good Luck and Congratulations Andy on all that you have accomplished!)

Izabela Borek writes: “Just came back from my interview for a PhD program….aaaaannnndddd…they accepted me!  I will be working at the Medical University of Graz in Austria in the Institute of Pathophysiology and Immunology.  The topic I will deal with is a response of epidermal/mucosal dendritic cells (specifically Langerhans cells) to environmental and microbial signals.”  (Congratulations Izabela!)

Gelareh Homayounfar writes: “Hope everyone at the Center is doing well…I’m finishing my last year of medical school and will be starting my advanced medicine rotation this Tuesday.  Wish me luck!” (Yes, Good Luck Gelareh!)

Kyle Fitzpatrick is now Assistant Volunteer Organizer at Food Finers Food Bank, Inc. (Congratulations Kyle!)

Justin List writes: “I really like Ann Arbor (Michigan) so far.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellowship is a huge opportunity.  My 6 co-Fellows are just amazing.  My research projects are in formation but broadly centered around pre-diabetic patients and another related to breast cancer disparities.”  (Congratulations and Good Luck Justin!)

Alma Massaro writes: “Sorry for the delay in answering, but I've been out for a while doing the Santiago walk (Oviedo- Santiago de Compostela): 312 km in 11 days. The best holiday ever!!!”  (Congratulations on completing this trek!)

Zohar Lederman writes: "I see the newsletter is back! I have good news:  (1) The journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics accepted a  book review I co-authored with my wife Jess. We started writing it during my time at the Center; (2) the Medicine and Law Journal has accepted my paper called  "Is It Time to Teach Bioethics to EMT’s? An Israeli Case Study."  This was written and submitted during my time at the Center, so thanks for that!  I will send you the papers once they are published.  Jess and I hiked Mont Blanc- it was AMAZING!  Also, we adopted a dog and a cat.  Hope all is well with you!"  (Zohar, thanks for his "exhilirating" update!  Congratulations on all fronts!)

If you want to experience the online courses that Yale University has to offer you, please go to the Yale website and type in “Open Yale Courses” to find an alternate way to both teach and learn.

Unite for Sight’s Global Health University offers more than 20 online certificate programs.  After enrolling, participants may complete the certificate coursework at their own pace.  Check it out on the Unite for Sight’s website!

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This Week on Campus

Tuesday, September 10

Middle East Studies Panel Discussion
4 PM
Location: 34 Hillhouse Ave, Luce Auditorium
Panelists: Mohamed Elfayoumy, Egyptian Diplomat and Yale World Fellow
                   Hassan Barari, University of Jordan, visiting professor at Yale
                   Ellen Lust, Political Science
                   Charles Hill, International Security Studies
                   Emma Sky, Jackson Institute
Moderator: Frank Griffel, Religious Studies
Topic: Airstrikes Against Syria? A Panel Discussion with Experts on the Middle East and on American Foreign Policy

Wednesday, September 11

South Asia Studies Colloquium
4:30 PM
Location: 34 Hillhouse Ave, Luce Auditorium
Speaker: Mallika Kaur, attorney
Topic: Why Attention to “Violence Against Women” is Simply Not Enough

Thursday, September 12

Program in Biomedical Ethics Lecture
Time: 4:30 PM
Location: 230 South Frontage Rd, Cohen Auditorium
Speaker: Renee D. Boss MD MHS, Assistant Professor, Division of Neonatology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Berman Institute of Bioethics
Topic: Palliative Care for Infants and Young Children—Enhancing Quality of Life No Matter the Disease Trajectory

Friday, September 13

Climate & Energy Institute Town Hall Meeting
2 PM
Location: 195 Prospect St, Burke Auditorium
Panelists: Kerry Emanuel: Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences; MIT
                   Alexander Felson: FES, Yale School of Architecture
                  Marion McFadden: Acting Executive Director, Hurricane Sandy Task Force
                  Katie Scharf Dykes: CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
                  Ronald Smith: Department of Geology and Geophysics; Yale
Senator Chris Murphy
Topic: Climate Change in New England

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Conferences & Off Campus Events

The Emergent Universe Oratorio, composed by Vermont composer and classical guitarist, Sam Guarnaccia, will premiere on September 15th at 3:00pm at the historic Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont. The Oratorio is based on the Emmy Award winning documentary film, Journey of the Universe, written by evolutionary philosopher Brian Swimme and Yale University scholar, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and is co-directed by David Kennard of the Carl Sagan Cosmos series. The film expands upon the work of geologian Thomas Berry (Dream of the Earth, Sierra Club Books) and scientist and philosopher Teilhard deChardin, among others.

The Oratorio is a choral and chamber orchestra composition that tells the “New Story” of our emerging and expanding Universe through integrated recitatives woven amidst major choral works. It is co-presented with a dramatic stage set of paintings from the series, Endless Spring, by visual artist Cameron Davis, of the University of Vermont.  Several Vermont writers contributed to the recitatives, including Rebecca Kneale Gould and John Elder of Middlebury College. The Oratorio is presented in collaboration with Shelburne Farms, All Souls Interfaith Gathering, and the American Teilhard Association. 

At a time when so much of the world is driven by technology and industry, Bill McKibben asks us, “Where is the art and music to express our troubled times?”  Recognizing the need for an artistic expression of our human role in both the current crisis and the future flourishing of the planet, the Oratorio offers an opportunity for the gathered community to celebrate the magnificence of our home, planet Earth, through music and art and raise awareness of our responsibilities and the challenges ahead.

Yale University scholars and co-producers of the film Journey of the Universe, Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, will participate in the Oratorio premiere. Journey of the Universe has appeared on Vermont Public Television and PBS stations around the country, and its themes and message are expanded upon in the book by the same name from Yale University Press and a 20-part educational DVD series, Journey of the Universe: Conversations

In addition to the Oratorio, there will also be a screening of Journey of the Universe on Saturday, September 14th at 7:00pm in the Main St. Landing Theatre on the Burlington waterfront.  A discussion will follow the film showing.  Both events are free and open to the public. 

For more about the Oratorio, click here.

Paula Guarnaccia
(802) 734-0279

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Thursday, September 19, 12:00pm-1:00pm ET


Introducing New Bioethics Education Materials from the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues

Recognizing the need for improvement in bioethics education for scientific and medical professionals, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues has developed a set of educational materials to support teaching of bioethics ideas, principles, and theories at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels. Join us for this introductory webinar where we will review the materials and discuss their potential application in existing curricula for both traditional and nontraditional educational settings. The materials are based on real-life ethical challenges addressed by the Bioethics Commission, including its investigation into the 1940s U.S. Public Health Service STD research in Guatemala, and how to advance whole genome sequencing while protecting individuals' privacy.

 The Bioethics Commission is committed to ensuring that future scientists, public health professionals, and health care providers are able to identify ethically challenging situations, to make morally sound decisions in response to these situations, and to seek and receive the support they need to do so. All education materials will be made freely available at starting September 6, 2013.

 The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (the Bioethics Commission) is an advisory panel of the nation’s leaders in medicine, science, ethics, religion, law, and engineering. The Bioethics Commission advises the President on bioethical issues arising from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology. Back to top

Grants, Fellowships, & Jobs


PURPOSE: The Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics is an interdisciplinary research program at Harvard Law School dedicated to scholarly research at the intersection of law and health policy, including issues of health care financing and market regulation, biomedical research and innovation, and bioethics. The Academic Fellowship is a postdoctoral program specifically designed to identify, cultivate, and promote promising scholars early in their careers. Fellows are selected from among recent graduates, young academics, and mid-career practitioners who are committed to spending two years at the Center pursuing publishable research that is likely to make a significant contribution to the field of health law policy, medical innovation policy, or bioethics. Our prior fellows have found employment as law professors at institutions such as Harvard, UC Berkeley, BU, UCLA, Cornell, the University of Illinois, and the University of Arizona. More information on the Center can be found at:

PROGRAM: Petrie-Flom Academic Fellowships are full-time, two-year residential appointments starting in the summer of 2014. Fellows devote their full time to scholarly activities in furtherance of their individual research agendas. The Center does not impose teaching obligations on fellows, although fellows have often taught a seminar on the subject of their research in the Spring of their second year. In addition to pursuing their research and writing, fellows are expected to attend and participate in research workshops on health law, bioethics, and biotechnology, and other events designated by the Center. Fellows are also expected to help plan and execute a small number of events in their field of expertise during their fellowship, and to present their research in at least one of a variety of forums, including academic seminars, speaker panels, or conferences. The Center also relies on fellows to provide opportunities for interested students to consult with them about their areas of research, and to directly mentor our Student Fellows.  Finally, fellows are expected to blog periodically (about twice per month) on our collaborative blog, Bill of Health:

STIPEND AND BENEFITS: Fellows have access to a wide range of resources offered by Harvard University. The Center provides each fellow with a private office, a research budget, options for health insurance, and a stipend of $5,000 per month.

ELIGIBILITY: By the start of the fellowship term, applicants must hold an advanced degree in a discipline that they intend to apply to issues falling under the Center’s umbrella. The Center particularly encourages applications from those who intend to pursue careers as tenure-track law professors, but will consider any applicant who demonstrates an interest and ability to produce outstanding scholarship at the intersection of law and health policy, bioethics, or biotechnology during the term of the fellowship. Applicants will be evaluated by the quality and probable significance of their research proposals, and by their record of academic and professional achievement.

APPLICATION: Applications will be accepted starting September 16, 2013. Completed applications must be received at by 9:00 a.m. on November 18, 2013. Review of applications will begin in late November; applications submitted before the deadline will not be reviewed early or have any advantage. Please note that ALL application materials must be submitted electronically, and should include:

1. Curriculum Vitae
2. PDFs of transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended.
3. A Research Proposal of no more than 2,000 words describing the applicant’s area of research and writing plans. Research proposals should focus less on describing an interesting topic than on demonstrating that the applicant has an interesting and original idea about the topic that seems sufficiently promising to develop further.
4. A writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s writing and analytical abilities and ability to generate interesting, original ideas. This can be a draft rather than a publication. Applicants who already have publications may also submit PDF copies of up to two additional published writings.
5. Three letters of recommendation, emailed directly from the recommender. Letter writers should be asked to comment not only on the applicant’s writing and analytical ability, but on their ability to generate new ideas and their commitment to pursue that intellectual enterprise in this area. To the extent feasible, letter writers should provide not just qualitative assessments but also ordinal rankings. For example, rather than just saying a candidate is “great,” it would be useful to have a statement about whether the candidate is (the greatest, in the top three, among the top 10%, etc.) among some defined set of persons (students they have had, people they have worked with, etc.).

All application materials with the exception of letters of recommendation should be e-mailed by the applicant to Letters of Recommendation should be emailed directly from the recommender to the same address.

For questions or additional information, contact:
Holly Fernandez Lynch, Executive Director,
Cristine Hutchison-Jones, Admin. Director,

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