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Bioethicists use theatrical narratives to bridge the gap between society and science
Date:4/23/2014

ced "actor" in Rothenberg and Bush's plays, writes in the book's foreword, "Effectively examining the implications of genomic advances requires interdisciplinary collaborations. Toward that end, narrative genomics developed by Karen Rothenberg and Lynn Bush offers a novel path to enhance the understanding and dialogue among clinical geneticists, genetic counselors, bench scientists, primary care physicians, bioethicists, policy makers, other researchers and healthcare professionals, patients, and patient advocates."

Professor Nancy E. Kass has also had the opportunity to take on an acting role in Rothenberg and Bush's plays, and agrees with Green on the value of the dramatic approach to educating on ethical issues. "Professionals always appreciate a more creative way to communicate ideas than being 'talked at'. These plays and scripts allow fun and interactive discussion of tough ideas in ways that appeal to patients and professionals alike," says Kass, the Phoebe R. Berman Professor of Bioethics and Public Health at the Berman Institute.

Rothenberg first began writing with Bush, a faculty member in Pediatric Clinical Genetics and faculty associate at the Center for Bioethics at Columbia University Medical Center, after the two attended an interdisciplinary seminar on narrative medicine at Columbia. Both wanted to enhance dialogue and understanding about the complex societal challenges raised by generating and sharing vast amounts of genomic information.

In addition to original plays, Rothenberg and Bush have collaborated on historical research on plays exploring bioethics issues; in 2012 the scholars published an article in the Houston Journal of Health Law & Policy surveying 46 plays spanning three centuries including Frankenstein and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? all highlighting the ethical and social impact of medical technology on society.

Expanding on the themes of interdisciplinary dialogue, th
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Contact: Leah Ramsay
lramsay@jhu.edu
202-642-9640
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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