Family Tree Aminita Francis as Henreitta Lacks

Bioethics of Being Black in Science and Medicine

A unique event merging art with science for Black History Month 2023

Spoken Word

Standard: £3.00

Booking fee applies

The evening begins with a traditional African band from the Democratic Republic of Congo - Yok'elengi, led by Felix Ngindu. This is followed by Miss Aminita Francis, the multi-nominated actress who played Henrietta Lacks in ‘Family Tree’. Aminita opens our hearts and our minds to the injustices experienced by Lacks and her descendants in a moving performance before the audience is given the opportunity to discuss the ethical issues Lacks’ story represents with a panel of experts from the University of Liverpool, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the Liverpool Women’s Hospital:

  • Panel Chair: Dr. Ifeoma Onyia (Director of Public Health, Halton)
  • Aminita Francis (OFFIE Nominated actress, singer, writer)
  • Dr Elena Teodora Manea Hauskeller (Philosopher, and Medical Ethicist, University of Liverpool)
  • Dr Oluwaseun Esan, NIHR School for Public Health Research Post-doctoral Launching Fellow (Public Health, Policy & Systems, University of Liverpool)
  • Dr Uzochukwu Egere (Senior Research Associate, International Public Health, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine)
  • Professor Charles Ameh (Physician, Obstetrician, and Gynaecologist, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine – online from Paris)
  • Dr Rachel Hart (NHS clinical geneticist, Liverpool Women’s Hospital)
  • Sarah McGuire (NHS genetic counsellor, Liverpool Women’s Hospital).

The focus of the evening is how Black people are exploited or mistreated by science and medicine, characterised by a long history of racial discrimination and abuse within scientific fields. From unethical medical experiments, such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, and Dr Sims’ gynaecological surgery on enslaved women, to poorer mental health and higher death rates for Black women during childbirth compared with white women. With unequal opportunities for education and advancement, Black individuals have faced systemic racism in medicine, scientific research, and careers. These injustices have had lasting consequences, including disparities in healthcare and health outcomes, and underrepresentation in STEM fields, highlighting the urgent need for equity and reform in the scientific community.

All proceeds will be donated to two charities: Mary Seacole House (MSH) is a multicultural Mental Health Resource service for adults primarily from the Black Minority Ethnic communities in Liverpool, which aims to increase the confidence and life opportunities of the people from BME Communities; Generating Genius, has been working for over 15 years to ensure that talented and able Black and Brown students from disadvantaged backgrounds are positioned to excel in STEM careers.

The Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (University of Liverpool) and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine are delighted to host this unique event for Black History Month. Combining a Liverpool based African band who regularly feature at Africa Oye’ and a commissioned acting performance from a multi-nominated actress, with a bioethical debate with a panel of experts provides a unique experience and opportunity for the people of Liverpool, and students, academics and practitioners in the city.

This event is suitable for those ages 16+

This event will last approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.
Promoted by the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (University of Liverpool) and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
Visit How to book for our concessionary discount policy.
A booking fee of 8% will apply to purchases made by telephone or online.

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