Introducing Kirk Allison, Ph.D. - Geneforum's Newest Research Fellow

Just wanted to introduce Kirk Allison to the Geneforum community. Kirk, Director of the Program in Human Rights and Health in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, has been involved with Geneforum since June of 2007 when I was a Visiting Guest Lecturer in the inaugural year of a three-week Public Health Genomics course as part of the offerings of the 2007 Public Health Institute at the University of Minnesota.

His research and writings in human rights and public values fueled an eventual collaboration which resulted in a co-authored paper, Technology and Citizenry: A Model for Public Consultation in Science Policy Formation soon to appear in the May 2008 issue of the Journal of Evolution & Technology. From May 1-3, 2008, Kirk and I teamed up to present a paper, The Genomics Policy Process: A Model for Partnering Citizens, Experts and Policy Makers at the Translating ELSI: Global Perspectives on Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Human Genome Research in Cleveland.

From August 17-22, we'll be in Big Sky, Montana participating in a 2008 Gordon Research Conference, Science and Technology Policy. Governing Emerging Technologies. Our invited poster session is structured to describe the Geneforum experience with grassroots public engagement which shows that engaging the general public in complex public policy issues works best when policy makers, the public, and technical experts are understood partners in a common endeavor as members of the same community with different roles to play in serving the common good. Kirk will re-visit the topic in his paper accepted for presentation at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in San Diego, October 25-29, 2008.

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