Biomedical ethics talk featured at Linfield’s opening convocation

Ruth Faden, executive director of The Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, will present the keynote address at the Linfield College Opening Convocation Friday, Aug. 24, at 11 a.m. in the Ted Wilson Gymnasium at Linfield.

Convocation is the traditional ceremony that celebrates the beginning of the new academic year. Faculty dress in academic regalia and new faculty members are introduced to the Linfield community. Classes at Linfield will begin Monday, Aug. 27.

Faden’s presentation will reflect themes related to Linfield’s summer common read, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. The book was the reading project for all incoming Linfield students and will serve as a centerpiece for discussions and special programs throughout fall semester for Freshman Colloquium and other classes. Henrietta Lacks’ cells became the HeLa cell line, reproduced many billions of times over. The book, a New York Times bestseller, guides readers through a provocative journey about cancer, scientific ethics, racism and debilitating poverty. Faden, who has long known Skloot, has engaged with Lacks family members related to the issues raised in the book.

A noted author and editor of numerous books and articles on biomedical ethics, health policy and moral philosophy, Faden is the Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics and executive director of The Phoebe R. Berman Bioethics Institute at Johns Hopkins University. She is also a senior research scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University. Faden is the author and editor of numerous books and articles on biomedical ethics and health policy including “Social Justice: The Moral Foundations of Public Health and Health Policy, A History and Theory of Informed Consent” (with Tom L. Beauchamp), “AIDS, Women and the Next Generation” (Ruth Faden, Gail Geller and Madison Powers, eds.) and “HIV, AIDS and Childbearing: Public Policy, Private Lives” (Ruth Faden and Nancy Kass, eds.). Faden is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a Fellow of the Hastings Center and the American Psychological Association. She has served on several national advisory committees and commissions, including the President’s Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, which she chaired. Faden holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree from the University of Chicago and an MPH and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 503-883-2202.