Practical Approaches to Enhancing Fairness, Social Responsibility and the Inclusion of Diverse Viewpoints in Biomedicine


Workshop Description

In biomedical research and clinical medicine, many of the ethical frameworks and processes focus on benefits and harms at the individual level.  However, in biomedicine, there is increasing recognition of a need to implement frameworks and processes that address the social impacts of technologies, such as genomics and AI technologies, and their social benefit for underrepresented populations and communities.  For example, studies demonstrating the potential for bias in AI shed light on the need to develop processes to more effectively identify and address downstream impacts of medical AI, as well as engage communities who are stakeholders in the research. Privacy is often envisioned as an individual right, but the collection and use of data also have repercussions at the level of groups and communities. For that reason, there have been recent efforts to arrive at models for data stewardship and data sovereignty. This workshop will provide a forum for discussion of practical approaches to enhancing fairness, social responsibility and inclusion of diverse viewpoints in biomedicine. Interdisciplinary research on ethics and how fairness, social responsibilit,y and community engagement can be operationalized in biomedical research will provide a foundation for robust discussion on these issues.


Contact: Nicole Martinez, JD, PhD,


The 3-hour workshop will consist of two parts:


      The first part will include a series of 15-minute talks that address fairness, social responsibility & inclusion/community engagement for different areas of biomedicine, followed by an audience Q& A and discussion of the topics such as diversity in precision medicine, ethical and sustainable data stewardship, and public engagement with social and behavioral genomics.

      For the second half of the workshop, weare conducting an interactive exercise with the audience. Focusing on case studies, based on topics from the first half of the workshop, such as community engagement and data stewardship, we will use smartphone-based polling to facilitate feedback from the audience on approaches, challenges and solutions for addressing the ethical issues from the case study. The results from the interactive exercise will provide fruitful areas of discussion with the audience.


Learning Objectives

By the end of this workshop attendees will be able to:

  1. Understand the social and political context that underlays the need for frameworks and processes that more effectively address the impacts of these technologies on individuals and communities.
  2. Explore and analyze efforts to identify and address the downstream harms and benefits of biomedical technologies
  3. Locate actors that have the ability to mitigate the downstream harms of biomedical technologies and/or the ability to promote its downstream benefits.


Audience Engagement

This session is intended for all facets of the biomedical community. The panel will include a five-minute introduction by the moderator followed by 4-5, 15-minute presentations. We strongly believe in the importance of audience engagement, particularly in a workshop that endeavors to equip participants with the necessary tools to consider the concepts of social responsibility and public and community engagement. As such, we have allotted the remaining time for small-group interactive discussions and whole-group discussion.


Presenter Information

This workshop brings together rich and interdisciplinary perspectives from medical anthropology, biomedical engineering, education, and bioethics, as well as, legal perspectives. Importantly, our multidisciplinary and multi-institution workshop aims to do more than provide the PSB community with the opportunity to come together to analyze and evaluate efforts to enhance social responsibility and the inclusion of diverse viewpoints in biomedicine. We offer workshop attendees strategies for intervening to assist with promoting fairness, social responsibility, inclusion, and justice in biomedical research and practice.


About the Workshop Organizers

Daphne Martschenko, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics and a co-organizer of the international Race, Empire, and Education Research Collective. Dr. Martschenko holds an MPhil from the University of Cambridge in Politics, Development, and Democratic Education and in 2019 received a Ph.D. in Education, also from the University of Cambridge.  Dr. Martschenko’s work advocates for and facilitates the ethical and responsible conduct of and public engagement with genetic/genomic research.


Nicole Martinez-Martin, JD, Ph.D., received her JD from Harvard Law School and her doctorate in social sciences (comparative development/medical anthropology) from the University of Chicago. Her broader research interests concern the impact of new technologies on the treatment of vulnerable populations. Her graduate research included the study of cross-cultural approaches to mental health services in the Latine community and the use neuroscience in criminal cases. Her recent work in bioethics and neuroethics has focused on the ethics of AI and digital health technology, such as digital phenotyping or computer vision, for medical and behavioral applications.


Meghan Halley, PhD, MPH, is a Senior Research Scholar in the Center for Biomedical Ethics (SCBE) at Stanford University. She completed her doctorate in medical anthropology from Case Western Reserve University in 2012, and additional training in health services research at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute from 2012 through 2016. Her current research focuses at the intersection of the ethics and economics of new genomic technologies. Her current projects include examining ethical issues related to sustainability and governance of patient data and relationships when large clinical genomic studies transition to new models of funding; ethnographic work exploring how diverse stakeholders perceive value in the use of genome sequencing for diagnosis of rare diseases; and the development of new measures for assessing patient-centered outcomes in pediatric rare diseases.


Additional presenters:

      Mildred K. Cho, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics, Center for Biomedical Ethics, Stanford University

      Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, PhD, Chief of the Division of Ethics, Columbia University, speaking on: Ethics of Inclusion: Diversity in Precision Medicine