The Go Big Read Capstone event last weekend was a great success! Through films, panel discussions, keynotes and more, we were able to continue discussing and learning about HeLa. Participants heard from numerous experts, including UW faculty from a variety of departments, as well as speakers from across the country.
One highlight was the mock Institutional Review Board, giving a chance for audience members to weigh in on their own opinions on informed consent topics. Panelists discussed two topics relating to consent issues in tissue research. This experience not only helped participants understand how an IRB works, but also gave us a chance to learn more about the issues surrounding HeLa and better formulate our own opinions.
We also enjoyed two keynote speeches. On Friday, Ruth Faden, the executive director at Johns Hopkins University Berman Institute of Bioethics, gave a talk titled “Henrietta Lacks: Ethics at the Intersection of Health Care and Biomedical Science.” On Saturday, Vanessa Northington Gamble of George Washington University spoke on “Henrietta Lacks Beyond her Cells: Race, Racism and American Medicine.” These speeches were two engaging highlights of the weekend.
All in all, the capstone was a great way to begin wrapping up our community-wide discussion of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” Thanks to everyone who made it such a success. If you came to one or both days, leave a comment and let us know what you thought!