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MEL Seminar “Data Sharing in Health and Science: Something to Fear or Embrace?”

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Message from Centre for Medical Ethics and Law

Professor Eric M. Meslin
Director of Center for Bioethics
Associate Dean for Bioethics and Professor of Medicine
Indiana University

Date: Tuesday, 8 April 2014
Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Venue:  Room A824, 8/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong


In 1969 Canadian communications theorist Marshall McLuhan said: “The more the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist.” McLuhan’s words may have been prescient coming decades before the sequenced human genome and the surge in use of ‘big data’ analytics raised profound ethical issues for science and society. But it would be a mistake to conclude that collecting and sharing data is always dangerous and dehumanizing.  This talk will first review some of the current data on data sharing from why researchers resist sharing data, to what patients say they want shared ¬ and then discuss some promising approaches for getting the balance right between protecting personal privacy and promoting public health.

Biography of speaker

Professor Eric M.  Meslin is founding Director of the Indiana University Center for Bioethics. He is also Associate Dean for Bioethics in the Indiana University School of Medicine, and is Professor of Medicine; of Medical & Molecular Genetics; of Public Health; and of Philosophy. In 2012 he was appointed as Indiana University’s first Professor of Bioethics, and co-directs the Indiana University Center for Law, Ethics and Applied Research in Health Information (CLEAR).

Dr. Meslin has more than 150 published articles and book chapters on various topics in bioethics and science, is a co-editor of the Cambridge University Press Bioethics and Law Series, and the Indiana University Press Bioethics and Humanities Series. He has been a member of several boards and committees in the U.S. and Canada including the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Ethical and Scientific Issues in Studying the Safety of Approved Drugs; the Ethics Subcommittee, Advisory Committee to the Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta; and the Board of Directors of Canada’s Stem Cell Network Centre of Excellence. Canada.  He is a current member of Science and Industry Advisory Committee of Genome Canada. In 2007 he was appointed a Chevalier de L’Order Nationale du Mérite (Knight of the National Order of Merit) by the French Ambassador to the United States for contributions to French bioethics policy.

Please register online at or email Ms. Polly Yiu at  to reserve a place.

Should you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact Ms. Polly Yiu by email at  or by phone at 3917 1845