Institutionalized Racism in Science (IRIS)

IRIS Book Group/Discussion Group

IRIS is a student-led book/discussion group focusing specifically on institutionalized racism in the sciences. Oftentimes, science is viewed as a purely rational field, free from the biases and injustices that affect our society. Sign-up below to read and discuss books that will open our minds to the scientific racism that influences our lives to this day (books are provided and yours to keep)

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Current Offering Accepting Sign-Ups:

Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Short NEJM article
“Am I Racist?”

Facilitated by: Shana Liu (‘21), Kalie Debelak (‘21), and Anneliese Barton (‘21)
Zoom Meeting Times:
Sunday, December 6, 1pm-2pm and
Saturday, December 20, 1pm-2pm

Zoom information will be sent to all participants.

The famous HeLa cells have been used in scientific research for decades, providing us with incredible breakthroughs that have advanced our understanding of the human body. The question is: How did we gain access to these cells and who did they come from? The answer is Henrietta Lacks, a poor farmer from the South whose biological property was stolen without her informed consent. Even after her death and the creation of a multimillion dollar industry that revolves around biological material such as Henrietta Lacks’, her children were unable to afford the healthcare that their mother’s cells were being used to promote. Skloot leads us on a journey that doesn’t just explore Henrietta Lacks, but also explores how these ethical missteps affected her family and are representative of a larger scientific culture that has been built off of the exploitation of African-American people.

Please join us as we explore the world of medicine through the lens of a person of color.

Scroll down to sign up:

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THIS BOOK GROUP IS FULL
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Damon Tweedy MD, Black Man in a White Coat:  A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine
Facilitated by:
Shana Liu (‘21), Kalie Debelak (‘21), and Anneliese Barton (‘21)
Zoom Meeting Times:
Saturday, November 14, 2pm-3pm and
Saturday, November 28, 2pm-3pm 

Zoom information will be sent to all participants.

Damon Tweedy MD is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Duke University School of Medicine, his alma mater. As both a black man and a black doctor, he brings a unique perspective to the genre of medical memoirs which largely avoids the subject of race. From being questioned on his right to be in medical school to being diagnosed with a disease far more common in black patients than white patients, Tweedy is able to explore the challenges black doctors face while examining how racism systemically affects black patients’ health. Most importantly, he will educate us on ways to work towards more equitable and compassionate care for all people.
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