past event

Advancing STEM: The Intersection of Genetics & Social Justice


Understanding and connecting STEAM and social justice to solve community problems is at the core of Our Future Is Science initiatives. Dr. Daphne Martschenko, Assistant Professor at Stanford University, is working on intersecting genetic data research and social justice. Mandeen (Muno) Sekhon, Associate Communications and Special Projects Officer at the Burroughs Wellcome Fund is working to advances biomedical research.

In a February 15, 2023, talk, Dr. Daphne Martschenko and Mandeen Sekhon discussed how they are advancing STEAM through their research and work on genetics.

Dr. Daphne Martschenko is an Assistant Professor at the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics, which is in the school of medicine. She received a Master of Philosophy degree in Politics, Development, and Democratic Education and a doctorate in education from the University of Cambridge. Her doctoral work investigated teacher perspectives on the role and relevance of genetic data for education, focusing on how behavioral genetics research on educational attainment and intelligence intersected with educators’ conceptualizations of racial and socioeconomic disparities in the American education system. She has appeared in numerous podcasts, including Freakonomics Radio, with research published in peer-reviewed journals as well as publicly accessible media outlets like Scientific American and The Conversation. Her work advocates for and facilitates research efforts that promote socially responsible communication of and community engagement with social and behavioral genomics. Dr. Martschenko is currently co-authoring a book on how social and biological factors jointly shape human development across the life course. In it, she and her co-author unpack various social, ethical, and policy issues related to the DNA revolution.

Mandeen (Muno) Sekhon is currently the Associate Communications and Special Projects Officer at the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, a nonprofit biomedical research foundation in Research Triangle Park, NC. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology and Spanish from Washington University in St.Louis and began her career in science at Washington University’s Genome Center where she led the effort to produce the physical map of the human genome. She continued on to GlaxoSmithKline where she directed the DNA sequencing team and later worked in the clinical trial sector as a Project Manager as well as a Feasibility Associate. She is currently earning her MPH at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I will now turn the floor over to Muno Sekhon, welcome.

The Community Talk Series is a platform to expose individuals to diverse careers, as well as information, insights, and perspectives on the intersections of STEAM disciplines and social justice issues.

This event is organized by Our Future Is Science, an initiative of the Aspen Institute Science & Society Program.

Event information
Wed Feb 15, 2023
8:00pm - 9:00pm EDT