Who are we?

Our members include faculty, students, and others from biology, chemistry, sociology, ethics, law and education.

Dr. Jon Beckwith is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School. He has been active since the late 1960s in writing and speaking about the misuse of genetics and, since the 1980s, has been teaching a course on Science and Social Justice to undergrad and graduate students.

Dr. Amy Vashlishan Murray is an Associate Professor of Science at Emerson College in Boston, a liberal arts school devoted to communication and the arts. In the laboratory, Amy uses genetic approaches to study the way chemicals in the brain influence long-lasting changes in behavioral state like mood, appetite, and motivation.  Working closely with talented Emerson undergraduates and a local community of early career research scientists, Amy also pursues a passion for addressing communication barriers between scientists, the media, and the public. She has established a Science Communication Collaborative that partners scientists and future artists and communicators for mutual communication training and has worked to build a foundation for Sense About Science’s “Ask for Evidence” campaign in the US.  She is a member of COPUS (the Coalition for the Public Understanding of Science) and is the recipient of their Paul Shin Memorial Award honoring the unsung heroes of science communication and engagement.

Dr. Sheldon Krimsky is Lenore Stern Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences in the Department of  Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning in the School of Arts & Sciences and Adjunct Professor in Public Health and Community  Medicine in the School of Medicine at Tufts University. His research focuses on the linkages between science/technology, ethics/values and public policy. He has authored, co-authored or edited 14 books and published over 200 papers and reviews that have appeared in:  JAMA, Nature, Nature Genetics, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Medicine, NEJM, American Journal of Bioethics among others. His books include: Genetic Alchemy; Agricultural Biotechnology & the Environment; Biotechnics & Society, Genetic Justice (Gold Medal winner from Independent Publishers); Hormonal Chaos: The Origins of the Environmental Endocrine Hypthesis and The GMO Deception. His latest book is titled Stem Cell Dialogues: A Philosphical and Scientific Inquiry into Medical Frontiers. Professor Krimsky served on the National Institutes of Health’s Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee from 1978-1981. He was a consultant to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and to the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. He is Board and Founding member of the Council for Responsible Genetics, Fellow of the AAAS and the Hastings Center.

Dr. K. Robin Pierce, JD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Health Law and Regulation at Tilburg Law School (Department of Law, Technology, Markets, and Society) in The Netherlands. Her work focuses on the ethical, legal, and social issues in biomedical innovation and health promotion, with an emphasis on genetics, AI and big data, and biotechnology, generally, and the implications for public policy. Her research has also explored translational issues in Alzheimer’s Disease research. She has published widely in such journals as Nature, Biotechnology Journal, The Lancet Neurology, Social Science and Medicine, and Public Health Ethics. Her publications and ongoing research address themes involving agenda and priority setting in healthcare, social justice, regulatory approaches to the misuse of science and technology, and translational challenges in a diverse population. She has also co-taught the course on Social Issues in Biology at Harvard Medical School, Department of Microbiology with Jon Beckwith. She currently serves on the ethics advisory boards of several biomedical and healthcare research projects across Europe and has been an invited speaker at the European Parliament. She has been an associate editor for Science and Genetics at the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry since 2014. She is currently a member of the European Association of Health Lawyers and the Society of Legal Scholars.

Kosita Bergman is Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biology at Northeastern University. He is a microbiologist who studied how bacteria and fungi detect and respond to signals from the environment. He also worked for many years in student advising and the modernization of curriculum requirements for Biology majors. He is most interested in finding ways to help students grapple with the science and politics of genetics and society issues.

Kostas Kampourakis is a science educator and the author and editor of several books about science (http://kampourakis.com). He is particularly interested in the public understanding of evolution and genetics, as well as of nature of science. He currently works at the University of Geneva (Section of Biology and IUFE). At the Section of Biology he teaches the course « Biologie et Société » to undergraduate students, and at the University Teacher Training Institute (IUFE) he teaches a science education course to secondary science teachers. He is the Editor of the book series Understanding Life, published by Cambridge University Press, as well as co-editor of the Springer book series Contributions from Biology Education Research. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the Springer journal Science & Education, and the founding editor of the Springer book series Science: Philosophy, History and Education..

Michael Carson is a Professor of Biology at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. He teaches Genetics, Human Genetics and Genomics as well as non-majors biology courses. Dr. Carson mentors undergraduate research students in studying genetic variation in the lab with the ocean sunfish, Mola mola, an animal that is migratory to the local waters. He also mentors student projects to examine human genetic similarity and differences amongst worldwide populations using publicly available sequences and informatics approaches. His scholarship working with the GSWG is on social and medical implications of genetic and molecular genetics technologies such as DNA fingerprinting and genetic testing for human disease & ancestry. Always a focus, is to learn and practice better ways of teaching genetics and including important social issues in all of his courses. Dr. Carson relaxes with his family, numerous animals and by working in his garden.

Dr. Nuno M. Martins is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School, working on imaging the nanostructure of chromosomes and genes, and mechanisms of gene expression and cell division.
He has been involved in outreach and science communication events for several years, as well as mentorship of junior scientists, both with a focus on communicating directly and closely with an audience. Nuno is especially interested in improving the teaching and public awareness of difficult and misunderstood concepts: de-complicating explanations, more empathetic engagement and putting things in the context of a listener’s experience. He is working on devising strategies to package information to reach a wider audience.