This program is over.

Hope you didn't miss it!  Find more programs here.

Is Genetic Information Different?

A special program complementing the National Museum of Natural History exhibition Genome: Unlocking Life's Code

An Interactive Smithsonian Debate

Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1H0935

Text Size
- +

Is there something special about your genetic information? Do you worry about keeping it private? Should facts about your genetic makeup and risk for diseases receive more protection than ordinary clinical information?  

With genetic testing becoming more common, new ethical and professional issues have surfaced. For example, should you be able to control what genetic tests are performed on you? When you’re being tested for a specific condition, should your doctor look for additional, unrelated genetic risk factors? When you get genetic test results, do you have responsibility to share what you’ve learned with family members—even if they might not want to know the disease risks they may share? 

Two debaters with extensive experience in genetics and genomics address these questions in a lively interactive event in which the audience plays a key role. One is Robert C. Green, associate professor of medicine in the division of genetics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and associate director for research at the Partners HealthCare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine. He is joined by Susan M. Wolf, the McKnight presidential professor of law, medicine, and public policy and the Faegre Baker Daniels professor of law at the University of Minnesota.

Enjoy a glass of wine while developing questions to pose to the debaters. Eric Green, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, moderates.

Programming is made possible thanks to generous grants and gifts made through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.

Smithsonian Connections

Get an overview of Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code at the Natural History Museum, which examines the science and ethics of genomics.




S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Drive, SW
Metro: Smithsonian Mall Exit (Blue/Orange)