Most people are now familiar with the type of DNA testing that allows individuals to learn about their ancestry and certain health traits. But beyond consumer products like 23 and Me or Ancestry we are on the verge of a brave new world of genomics that raises significant questions about data collection and sharing, privacy, and public policy. And the Wilson Center’s Eleonore Pauwels has identified the intersection of genomics and artificial intelligence as the critical lens for examining and understanding the possibilities and challenges of what’s to come. Her insights provide the focus for this edition of Wilson Center NOW.
Eleonore Pauwels is an international science policy expert, who specializes in the governance of emerging technologies, including genomics, digital and bio-engineering, participatory health design, and citizen science. At the Wilson Center, she is the Director of Biology Collectives, and Senior Program Associate within the Science and Technology Innovation Program. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Eleonore directs the Citizen Health Innovators Project. In this context, her research focuses on developing regulatory and governance mechanisms for the fast-growing ecosystem of health innovators, built around maker spaces and community bio labs, to support responsible innovation in distributed networks. This is part of her larger effort to design actionable ethics and governance strategies to enable responsible and fair citizen participation in new health and genomics technologies. She is particularly interested in the perils and promises of personal genomics, and how to harness this trove of data and techniques to truly, ethically empower citizens in different societal contexts and cultures.
John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming. Previously he served as host and producer of Dialogue at the Wilson Center and Close Up on C-SPAN. He also teaches a course on politics and media for Penn State’s Washington Program.