Today was the last day of the Ethical Science Symposium at Haverford. My favorite panel from today was on the ethics of preventive medicine, specifically on vaccines. Guest panelists Dr. Kristen Feemster and Dr. Jason Schwatrz talked about herd immunity and discussed how we can debate the ethics of individual decision vs. duty to public good.
These conversations are really important to have today in the wake of many parents being hesitant to vaccinate their children due to fear of side effects and perceived links to autism.
I loved having the opportunity to listen to a variety of perspectives on how best to deal with this issue in order to address people’s concerns while still working towards the health of the public. All of the topics that were discussed at this symposium fit well into the classes I take and helped give me insight into questions I should be asking.
This weekend was my first time attending a health-related symposium and my first time attending any symposium while in college. I love that these are the kinds of conversations that we can have within the science departments in the bi-co. We don’t just discuss hardcore STEM issues, but the social implications of these issues as well.
This weekend, along with several weeks of trying to hone in on what I want to study, has made me grateful to have the opportunity to ask these vital questions. My Dominican family tends to stick to traditional fields of study and don’t really consider fields where intersectionality is possible, such as bioethics, public health, medical anthropology, and others. So participating in a symposium that asks vital interdisciplinary questions made me realize how much I value that.
This weekend helped me become confident in what I’m studying and have a clearer sense of what issues really matter to me. Now, if I could just declare a major and minor.