Public Release: 

The Politicization of Science

Forum gathers opinion leaders to discuss the effect politics has on science on Nov. 9

Harvard Medical School

The Harvard Medical School (HMS) Division of Medical Ethics will host a public forum, titled "The Politicization of Science," which will bring together opinion leaders to discuss the effect of politics on science. The event will be held at HMS on Wednesday, Nov. 9. The discussion will include Susan F. Wood, former assistant commissioner for women's health at the FDA, and Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science.

Recent criticisms from the scientific community claim increased politicization of science in a variety of public policy debates and decisions. The most recent example is the Food and Drug Administration's indefinite postponement of a decision about making the emergency contraceptive Plan B ("morning-after pill") available over the counter, despite the recommendations of two of its scientific advisory committees citing its safety. Susan F. Wood, stepped down from her position as a result.

The panel members will discuss this example and others as they consider the effect politics has on science.

Allan M. Brandt, PhD, Professor of the History of Science and Chair, Department of the History of Science, Harvard University, Moderator

Dan W. Brock, PhD, Frances Glessner Lee Professor of Medical Ethics, and Director, Division of Medical Ethics, HMS

Chris Mooney, Author, The Republican War on Science

Susan F. Wood, PhD, Former Assistant Commissioner for Women's Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005, 4-6pm

Harvard Medical School (HMS)
Amphitheater D
Armenise Building
210 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Please call 617-432-0442 to RSVP.


The Division of Medical Ethics of Harvard Medical School is dedicated to improving medical care and medical education by building greater awareness and understanding of the critical moral, ethical, and social dimensions of medicine. The Division is committed to forging links between the medical school and the larger community, as well as among Harvard's hospitals, schools, and related programs.

Harvard Medical School has more than 6,000 full-time faculty working in eight academic departments based at the School's Boston quadrangle or in one of 47 academic departments at 18 Harvard teaching hospitals and research institutes. Those Harvard hospitals and research institutions include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, The CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, Children's Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Forsyth Institute, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Joslin Diabetes Center, Judge Baker Children's Center, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, McLean Hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and the VA Boston Healthcare System.

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