Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:00pm - 1:10pm EDT
LeapsMag, the Aspen Institute's Science and Society Program, and GOOD
"The Future of Science in America Summit" will dive into the high stakes ahead as we emerge from a hotly contested election, with the pandemic on the upswing.
Through rotating paired conversations with five experts from academia, industry, advocacy, and government, followed by a public Q&A, this event will explore (re)building public trust in science, the latest science and policy developments on the COVID vaccine front, and moonshots in science that deserve prioritization over the next four years.
Michelle McMurry-Heath, M.D., Ph.D.
President and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
Founder, Plus1Vote, a nonprofit organization dedicated to getting out the vote on issues such as climate change and equality
France Córdova, Ph.D.
Astrophysicist, past Director of the National Science Foundation, past President of Purdue University
Joseph DeRisi, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California San Francisco and Co-President, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub
Global Head, Office of Innovation, Public Health, and Scientific Engagement, Johnson & Johnson
This summit is co-hosted by LeapsMag, the Aspen Institute Science & Society Program, and the social impact company GOOD, with support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Rita Allen Foundation.
The event accompanies our recently published digital magazine, The Future of Science in America: The Election Issue.
In July 1956, a new drug hit the European market for the first time. The drug was called thalidomide – a sedative that was considered so safe it was available without a prescription.
Sedatives were in high demand in post-war Europe – but barbiturates, the most widely-used sedative at the time, caused overdoses and death when consumers took more than the recommended amount. Thalidomide, on the other hand, didn't appear to cause any side effects at all: Chemie Grünenthal, thalidomide's manufacturer, dosed laboratory rodents with over 600 times the normal dosage during clinical testing and had observed no evidence of toxicity.
The drug therefore was considered universally safe, and Grünenthal supplied thousands of doctors with samples to give to their patients. Doctors were encouraged to recommend thalidomide to their pregnant patients specifically because it was so safe, in order to relieve the nausea and insomnia associated with the first trimester of pregnancy.
Niko von Glasow, born in 1960, is a German film director and producer who was born disabled due to the side effects of thalidomide.
Sarah Watts is a health and science writer based in Chicago. Follow her on Twitter at @swattswrites.