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Genetic Tests and Human Futures: A Panel Discussion

Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Virtual Event


Register for this free online event

This panel will explore questions associated with genetic tests, including when such tests are used and what information they can and cannot offer. How do individuals, families, and clinicians navigate the testing process? How do genetic tests shape our understanding of disease and disability? What do they reveal about our desire to predict and control the future, including the future of what it means to be fully human?


Alice Wexler is the author of The Woman Who Walked into the Sea: Huntington's and the Making of a Genetic Disease (2008),  which won a 2009 Book Award from the American Medical Writers Association. She is also the sister of Nancy Wexler, leader of the team that discovered the Huntington's disease gene and a central figure in Alice's book, Mapping Fate: A Memoir of Family, Risk, and Genetic Research (1995).

George Estreich writes about the intersection between new biomedical technologies and disability, including The Shape of the Eye, a memoir about his daughter Laura, who has Down Syndrome. His most recent book, Fables and Futures: Biotechnology, Disability, and the Stories we Tell Ourselves (MIT Press), was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award and was named a Best Science Book of 2019 by NPR's Science Friday. 

Kathryn L. Murray is the director of genetic services at the Center for Genetics and Maternal Fetal Medicine in Eugene. She has been instrumental in bringing comprehensive genetic counseling to Eugene. She has been active in the System Ethics Committee of Providence Health & PeaceHealth Systems and was the onsite principal investigator in the BRCA1 Predisposition Testing Program at Harvard’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. At the University of Michigan, she aided in the verification of genetic markers for the Huntington disease gene. 

Moderated by Judith Eisen, professor of biology and Wayne Morse Center Distinguished Scholar.

This event is sponsored by the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics as a part of its 2019-21 theme of inquiry, Science, Policy, and the Public. It is also part of the Lorwin Lectureship on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations


Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, 2020-21 Science, Policy, and the Public, Science, Policy, and the Public

Target Audience

All Students, Faculty/Staff, Alumni




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