Science (as) Culture: The 1000-year view of the Microbiome & how to get there?
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Science (as) Culture: The 1000-year view of the Microbiome & how to get there?

Science (as) Culture: The 1000-year view of the Microbiome & how to get the...

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The Commons Cafe

388 Atlantic Ave

Brooklyn, NY 11201

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Microbiome: the 1000-year view & how to get there? Does the microbiome change how we imagine the future and what it means to be human?


The Microbiome - redefining the biology and culture of what it means be human

Are we alone? Depends who you ask! We all have over 100 trillion microbes living in and on our body, so we’re never really alone.

The microbiome, which represents the population of all the microbes - bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses - that live on and inside the human body, is important in human health and disease. New discoveries about the microbiome are revolutionizing how we see the world around and within us.

In this long table discussion, we will focus on the collection of microorganisms – troublesome invaders, benign guests, and essential collaborators – that live in and on all of us. We will explore how this realignment of friend and foe changes the very way we think about the world. Our invited guests from diverse disciplines including the biological sciences, anthropology, art, ecology, ethics, and humanities will bring an interdisciplinary perspective to the table and act as seeders for a larger group discussion.

Take a seat at the table and be prepared to take participate in Part 3 of this three-part conversation defining the microbiome and redefining what it means to be human.

Special Guests

Jennifer Wolkin, PhD is an NYC-based licensed clinical health psychologist, neuropsychologist, mindfulness-meditation practitioner, writer, speaker, and adjunct professor. Dr. Wolkin recently founded a bespoke private practice with an appreciation that our mind, body, brain, and spirit are intimately intertwined - and impacted upon - by one another. She draws heavily from such tools as cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based techniques. Her passion for connecting through thoughts, words, and ideas inspired her to create a blog and online community space called BrainCurves®, where she offers accurate and accessible information about mind-body-brain wellness.

Rosamond Rhodes, Ph.D., is Professor of Medical Education and Director of Bioethics Education at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Professor of Philosophy at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and Professor of Bioethics and Associate Director of the Clarkson-Mount Sinai Bioethics Program. Dr. Rhodes is PI on an NIH/Fogarty International grant, “Research Ethics Education in the Balkans and Black Sea Countries,” she collaborates on a variety studies, and was PI on an NIH, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) study, “Human Microbiome and the Social Fabric.” Dr. Rhodes writes on a broad array of issues in bioethics, and outside of bioethics, she has done work on Aristotle, Kant, Rawls, and most of all, Thomas Hobbes. She currently serves as Sovereign of the International Hobbes Association and on the editorial boards of several international journals, including, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics and Hobbes Studies. She has published over 200 articles and chapters and co-edited five volumes of original papers: The Human Microbiome: Ethical, Legal and Social Concerns (Oxford University Press, 2013), The Blackwell Guide to Medical Ethics (Blackwell, 2007), Medicine and Social Justice: Essays on the Distribution of Health Care (Oxford University Press, first edition 2002; second edition 2012), and Physician Assisted Suicide: Expanding the Debate (Routledge, 1998).

Camille Delebecque is the co-founder and CEO of Afineur, a Brooklyn based biotechnology company using controlled fermentations to enhance the flavor and nutritional profiles of plant-based foods. Afineur is a pioneer in consumer biotechnology, raising awareness about the potential of cultured products notably through a successful Kickstarter campaign. Previously, Camille founded Synbio Consulting to foster biotechnological innovation. Camille holds a PhD in Synthetic Biology he completed between Harvard and Paris Universities. He has been recognized an emerging leader shaping the future of biotechnology and food by LEAP and Grist.

Camonghne Felix, M.A. is a poet, political strategist, political media junkie and cultural worker. Born and raised in New York City, Camonghne began her civic and literary career as a high school policy debater who used poetry and performance devices to win difficult cases. In 2016, Camonghne was appointed Speechwriter and then Deputy Press Secretary to Governor Cuomo -- and following the path she begun in high school, remains committed to bringing the raw humanity of poetics to the political field -- hoping to aggressively work against the mechanical, oppressive nature of government as we know it. Camonghne’s poetry has been published in over 20 publications and has recognized in various fashions, including a Pushcart Prize nomination in 2012 and the Cora Craig award for Young Women, and fellowships from Cave Canem and Callaloo. She has written for Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, For Harriet, Vice and was listed by Black Youth Project as a "Black Girl From the Future You Should Know," Camonghne has been published in over 15 various publications, and has received fellowships from prestigious programs including Callaloo and Cave Canem. She is now a Public Affairs executive for BerlinRosen, a high performance PR firm that brings the power of messaging to progressive thought leaders, non-profits and politicians. Her first full-length collection of poems, Build Yourself a Boat, is a University of Wisconsin Press Brittingham & Pollak Prize finalist.

Mathura Govindarajan is currently a graduate student at New York University in the Interactive Telecommunication Program. She completed her undergraduate studies from National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, India in Electronics and Communication Engineering. Her interests in the four years there took her from working on signal processing to theatre productions. Mathura's current interests revolve around assistive technology, developing accessible software, fabrication, coffee and messing around with physical computing.

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388 Atlantic Ave

Brooklyn, NY 11201

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