I also want to note a fantastic workshop I attended in July at the University of Illinois Institute for Genomic Biology. The Summer Internship for Native Americans in Genomics (SING) brought together established Native American scientists, graduate students in the bio- and social sciences, and community members from tribal and First Nations communities around the U.S. and Canada for one week of lectures, wet and dry lab training, and hands-on activities in ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) of genetic research. The ELSI activities were integral to the program and not simply tacked on as an afterthought to the "real" scientific training, as is too often the case. Students and faculty alike participated in vibrant discussions and role-playing in ways that also expanded the definition of "ethics" to include the idea that indigenous peoples are more than just potential research subjects who participate or resist accordingly. They can also be scientists. They are, of course, regulators, and tribal sovereignty in all of this is key. But they can also be funders of and investors in genetic research, thus shaping the questions that get asked; the methods that are used; and influencing whose institutions, communities, human resources, and economies get developed in research. The Navajo Times has just published an article on the workshop. I'll post a link here when when it's available online.
I did interviews in Minneapolis week before last. Boston is my next stop. Time to get up and out of this Janesville, Wisconsin Motel 6 and hit the road. I hope i can find some good coffee.