Section Newsletter
Spring 2010

A Letter from the Ethics SPIG Chair

The Ethics SPIG Executive Committee (chiefly our program chair, Bruce Jennings) is working hard to put together the program for the upcoming 138 th APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition held in Denver, Nov. 6-10, 2010. We are particularly excited about this year’s theme, Social Justice  and hope to highlight much of the relevant work from our members. Registration forms, the full 2010 Online Program and housing information are available at . I encourage you to register and start making your travel plans soon.

We would like to thank everyone who submitted and reviewed abstracts for this year’s Annual Meeting. With the theme of Social Justice, we feel this is a terrific opportunity to highlight your work, and we thank you again and in advance for your interest and participation in this year’s program, as well as your efforts and continued engagement with the Ethics SPIG. Presenters were notified of acceptance via e-mail on Tuesday, June 1, 2010. We’ve submitted a request to expand our program to include as many posters and presentations as possible as all of the submissions we received look very interesting. We are also co-sponsoring a number of sessions with other Sections and SPIGs.

In terms of communications, we have expanded our activities and have also participated in APHA’s Leadership Communication strategy, which aims to create an internal communication tool for APHA akin to the listservs and social marketing tools employed by other major organizations. You already can find the Ethics SPIG on Facebook, and a LinkedIn page is in the works. We encourage you to use the Facebook page as a place to share ideas and information, to post and search for job opportunities, and to engage in discussion and debate with your colleagues on current events and trends in public health ethics. If there is anything you would like to include on the Facebook page, please send an e-mail to Sean Philpott ( Thank you to Sean for setting this up for our group. Of course, you also can continue to find information about the Ethics SPIG on our website That site is maintained by Kirk Allison (, whom you may contact with any suggestions for inclusion on our Web page.

Just a note on membership to let you know that our SPIG is growing! We have added roughly 45 new members since November 2009, and we are grateful to you for your efforts in reaching out to your respective colleagues and communities. We are delighted with the response we are receiving. Thank you to our Membership Chair, Andrea Kalfoglou (, for her continued hard work.

All Ethics SPIG members attending this year’s Annual Meeting are encouraged to attend the Ethics SPIG Business Meeting. This is your opportunity to help set the course for the future of the Ethics SPIG and to help select upcoming Ethics SPIG leaders and liaisons. We are particularly interested in developing closer and stronger ties with the other APHA Sections and SPIGs. If you are interested in volunteering as a liaison, please submit a paragraph about your background so we can create a candidate roster.

We hope for your continued participation in the Ethics SPIG. If you have any news, announcements, job openings, or information you would like to share with other members of the Ethics SPIG, please contact Newsletter Editor Sean Philpott via e-mail at If you have any questions about this year’s program, please feel free to contact Bruce Jennings at We are always looking for feedback for the Ethics SPIG and welcome you to contact me ( or any other officer with comments and suggestions.

I wish you a safe and happy summer and hope to see you in Denver this November.


Jennifer Prah Ruger

Ethics SPIG Chair

Important News


Book and Precis by John Parascandola on the History of Venereal Disease Treatment and Women.

SPIG member John Parascandola’s 2008 inaugural address as president of the American Association of the History of Medicine, entitled “Quarantining Women: Venereal Disease Rapid Treatment Centers in World War II America,” was published in the Bulletin of the History of Medicine (Fall 2009, pp. 431-59).  The paper grew out of the research for his book Sex, Sin, and Science: A History of Syphilis in America, which former Surgeon General Richard Carmona lauded as providing the reader “a unique vantage point into the social, economic, political, and value systems of our evolving nation.” That book, published by Praeger in 2008, is available for online purchase at

Steven Coughlin’s Public Health Ethics Books Available at a Special Bundled Price.

Ethics in Epidemiology and Public Health Practice, 2nd Edition and Case Studies in Public Health Practice, 2nd Edition are being offered to APHA members at the reduced price of $35 when bought together. For more information or to order the “ethics combo”, visit

Public Health Ethics Available at a Special Discount for Ethics SPIG Members.

Ethics SPIG members continue to receive a $32 discount on annual subscriptions to the journal Public Health Ethics, a top-ranked, peer-reviewed international journal with a focus on the systematic analysis of the moral problems that arise in public health and preventive medicine. The journal combines theoretical and practical work from many different fields, notably philosophy, law and politics, but also epidemiology and the medical sciences. For more information about the journal, and to subscribe, visit The $32 savings on the usual print subscription more than covers the cost of joining the Ethics SPIG as an affiliate member, so encourage your friends and colleagues to join the Ethics SPIG.

Upcoming Events


8th Interdisciplinary Conference on Communication, Medicine and Ethics (Boston, June 28-30, 2010).

Boston University’s School of Public Health and College of Health and Rehabilitation Services are hosting the 8th Interdisciplinary Conference on Communication, Medicine and Ethics (COMET). The conference aims to bring together scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds involving various health care specialties and the human and social sciences. A special emphasis will be on the dissemination of ongoing research in discourse/communication studies and practical ethics, which engages directly with health care practitioners. For more information, visit the conference website at

12th International Conference on Ethics Across the Curriculum (Schenectady, N.Y., Oct. 7-9, 2010).

Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., will be hosting the 2010 annual conference of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum. This year’s conference is titled Bioethics and Ethics Across the Curriculum: The Challenges of Teaching, Researching, and Publishing Across Disciplines. The goal of this conference is to promote a dialogue and explore common themes, experiences, techniques and challenges facing multi- and interdisciplinary fields like bioethics. Among the topics to be explored are effective program implementation, ethics education for non-ethics professionals and academics, effective inter-and cross-disciplinary research and publication in professional journals, and teaching ethics in basic science, pre-health courses, and clinical contexts. For more information, or to submit an abstact, visit the conference website at

12th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (San Diego, Oct. 21-24, 2010).

The 12th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) is scheduled for Oct. 21-24, 2010, in sunny San Diego. This year’s theme is Health and Community. The ASBH is inviting scholars to submit proposals to address health, disability and disease as it affects local, national and global groups. Health care professionals, researchers, humanists and lawyers can bring experiences, expertise and interests that shape our understanding of the health of communities as it informs and is informed by ethics, law, politics, medicine and the humanities. Proposals that critically examine issues related to social groups -- such as the appropriate distribution of societal resources, the ways in which literature, film and the arts inform concerns about the health of populations and our understanding of communities, health care professionals' duty to warn in cases of communicable disease (e.g., HIV/AIDS), the fair distribution of health resources (e.g., medical supplies, water, etc.) during a natural disaster, the various contributions of the arts and the humanities to the health of communities, the social determinants of health and disease, healthcare disparities, the ways historical perspectives can bear on present day policy issues, and conflicts of values between different populations -- are welcomed. For more information about the conference, please visit

138th Annual APHA Meeting & Exposition (Denver, Nov. 6-10, 2010).

The 138th Annual APHA Meeting and Exposition will be held this year in Denver in early November. The Ethics SPIG is sponsoring a number of workshops and panel presentations, and invites abstracts for panel discussions, oral presentations, roundtables, and posters on topics concerning ethics and public health. The theme of this year’s conference is Social Justice, and we encourage researchers, authors, teachers, those in public health practice, and especially students to attend. For more information about the conference, or to register for this exciting conference, visit the conference website at

2011 ELSI Congress: Exploring the ELSI Universe (Chapel Hill, N.C., April 12-14, 2011).

The Center for Genomics and Society at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with research funding from the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research Program of the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, will host next year’s ELSI Congress. This meeting of researchers and ethicists will explore a number of important questions, including: How has ELSI research expanded since 2008? What questions and issues take ELSI research beyond its original and/or recent foci? Does ELSI apply to scientific areas outside genomics? How effectively is ELSI expanding from medical research to medical practice applications? How and when does ELSI research cross disciplines effectively? How and when does ELSI research connect scientists and non-scientists effectively?

More information about the conference will soon be forthcoming. Be sure to check the conference website ( regularly for updates.

Exciting Opportunities

P ost-Doctoral Fellowship in Science Studies (Deadline: Rolling)

As part of a multi-year collaborative project between New York University, UCSD, and The Woodrow Wilson School's Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Program at Princeton University, NYU’s Environmental Studies Program is seeking a post-doctoral fellow to examine the scientific assessments regarding acid precipitation, the epistemologies on which they have relied, and the controversies which they have engendered. The ideal fellow should have a PhD in history and philosophy of science or a closely related field, and sufficient scientific background and interest to understand the technical issues at stake in the scientific evaluations. The initial appointment will be for one year, with the expectation of renewal based on performance and available funding. The successful candidate will be based primarily at NYU. Research could begin anytime after Sept. 1, 2010, contingent on final approval of NSF funding. Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Applicants should send a CV and a cover letter describing their areas of expertise and interest via e-mail to

Professors Beyond Borders (Deadline: Open)

A new not-for-profit organization, Professors Beyond Borders, was launched on April 26 with the goal of sending faculty members abroad to promote public health and sustainability, and to build infrastructure that will help developing and disadvantaged nations. Interested in participating? Visit their website at

Reviewers Needed for New Textbook Projects (Deadline: Open)

Academic publisher Wiley/Jossey-Bass is seeking reviewers to comment on new textbook projects on social marketing and public health, public health leadership, and global health. If interested or for more information, please write to the publisher directly at, indicating your area of interest.

The Bioethics Program of Union Graduate College and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine: Master of Science in Research Ethics (Deadline: Open)

The Bioethics Program now offers a Master of Science in Bioethics with a specialization in Research Ethics. The first program of its kind in the United States, this new Master’s degree gives research professionals the knowledge and skills necessary to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Graduates of the program are uniquely positioned to advance ethical research, educate their peers, and inform and influence the national debate on research design, review, and oversight.

Through a combination of on-line courses and on-site practica, students gain an in-depth understanding of the ethical issues behind the rules and regulations that govern research, as well as hands-on experience in applying that knowledge to real-world situations. As a result, students graduate with background and skills they can draw on throughout their careers, whether they design and conduct research studies, develop policies and standards, or administer or oversee large research programs.

The new graduate program in research ethics uses a proven distance-learning model, designed to meet the needs of working professionals who have few opportunities to enroll in on-site courses. Most courses are taught on-line by internationally recognized experts in bioethics. Students also complete an intensive on-site proseminar, competency-based on-line and on-site practica, an on-site capstone assessment, and individualized Master’s projects.

For more information, or to apply for the 2011 or 2012 class, please visit

Fordham University Master of Arts in Ethics and Society (Deadline: Open)

The Master of Arts in Ethics and Society offers a unique cross-disciplinary curriculum in moral theory and applied ethics from humanities and social and natural sciences that provides students with the knowledge and skills to study, inform and shape a just society. The field practicum offers opportunities to shadow professionals engaged in ethical decision-making. For more information and to apply for the Fall 2010 term, please visit .


AMA-MCW Online Fellowship in Physician Ethics and Professionalism (Deadline: Open)

The Ethics Resource Center at the American Medical Association (AMA), together with the Medical College of Wisconsin's Graduate Program in Bioethics, sponsors an Online Fellowship in Physician Ethics and Professionalism. This program is a unique opportunity for physicians on Institutional Review Boards, Privacy Boards, and ethics committees or for those who want to learn more about applied ethics. Our online program is current, comprehensive, and convenient, with courses taught by expert faculty from the AMA, MCW, and around the world. Fellows participate in online masters-level courses on topics such as: The history of medical professionalism; common clinical ethics dilemmas; the ethics of scientific and medical research; and the relationships between ethics, philosophy, and law. You will also have the opportunity to meet leaders in bioethics and policy making during the annual meeting of the AMA's House of Delegates in Chicago and learn how the AMA establishes ethics policy and the code of ethics that sets the standard for physician professionalism. For further information, please e-mail or call (312) 464-4540.

Useful Resources is a new bioethics community resource developed through a partnership with scholars at the University of Minnesota, Indiana University, Georgetown University, Stanford University, University of Virginia and Mississippi State University. is a research and collaboration website designed to help you do research, share, collaborate and participate in the field of ethics. It provides a comprehensive collection of ethics materials including research materials, group discussions, current news articles and upcoming events. EthicShare automatically adds new research materials regularly, but users are also invited to help improve EthicShare by sharing citations, conference announcements, calls for papers and other suggestions.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a new entry on public health ethics, co-authored by one of the founding members of the Ethics SPIG, Dr. Ruth Faden. You can access the article here:

Public Health Ethics and Disasters

Designed to provide students, educators and public health officials with a starting place for understanding common public health ethics issues in disasters. Visit the site at

Public Health and Social Justice

Contains articles, slide shows, syllabi and other documents relevant to topics in public health and social justice. Visit the site at

UNESCO Global Ethics Observatory (GEObs): Database on Resources in Ethics

The sixth GEObs Database on Resources in Ethics is freely accessible online to all Member States and the general public in the six official languages of UNESCO (i.e. Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish). This new database is designed to reinforce ethics teaching, especially in regions where such activities are absent or minimal, by making resources in ethics available online through the GEObs. Ethics teachers and experts are invited to contribute to the content of this database in order to ensure that a wide variety of regional and cultural perspectives are represented. To send contributions or to request further information, email To access the GEObs Database on Resources in Ethics directly, visit