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To Know or Not to Know?: Genetics, Community and Public Health - An Israeli Perspective

A public talk by Professor Aviad Raz, Ben Gurion University, on the pros, cons and questions surrounding genetic testing for Jewish Israeli communities

Wednesday, November 07, 2012
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Royce Hall, Rm 306
Herbert Morris Seminar Room
Los Angeles, CA 90095

As more genes and mutations are identified in diseases for which particular populations are at increased risk, it is becoming more important to address the social, religious, and bioethical interfaces between communities and carrier screening. Public health programs of carrier screening usually leading to prenatal testing are increasingly popular among the secular Israeli public, yet pose a problem for those critical of selective abortion, such as the Orthodox Jewish community. One solution is provided by "Dor Yesharim" ("upright generation" in Hebrew), a program which has become for many a prototype for the successful merging of modern reproductive genetic testing and traditional communities. This program has received both praise for its high uptake and success in reducing the number of births of affected children through carrier matching, as well as criticism for compromising personal autonomy and perpetuating the stigmatization of carriers.  Professor Raz's talk will focus on research highlighting the interface between Jewish-Israeli communities, public health and cutting-edge genetic technologies, as well as the socially perceived pros and cons of whether and when to know (or not to know) your carrier status.

About the Speaker

Aviad E. Raz is a Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Program in Behavioral Sciences of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ben-Gurion University. He earned his B.Sc. and Ph.D. from Tel-Aviv University and has been a Post-doctoral Fellow at Harvard as well as a Fellow of the Japan Foundation and The Israeli Academy of Sciences (Alon). His research focuses on religious/ethnic groups and identities in contemporary Israeli society, especially in the context of health and family studies. He studies the social and bioethical aspects of medical organizations, community genetics and patient support organizations. He also conducts research in the fields of organizational culture and cross-cultural management, and organizational development.

Raz has written 7 books and over 43 articles and book chapters on topics in organizational and medical sociology, anthropology, culture, and science.

Aviad Raz is a Visiting AICE Professor at the Dept. of Sociology, University of California in San Diego in 2012-13.



Pay-per-space parking is available in UCLA Structure 4 and 5.


Primary parking for Royce Hall can be found in Lot 5. 

Parking Lot 5 - $3/hr or $11/day | $4/day for handicapped parking

From Sunset Blvd., enter north campus at Royce Dr. (between Westwood Plaza and Hilgard Ave.). Proceed straight to Parking Structure 5. Handicapped Accessible parking spaces are located on level 4 of this parking structure. For oversized vehicles, please use level 6. Cross footbridge on level 4 and follow signs to Royce Hall.


Parking Lot 4 - $3/hr or $11/day | $4/day for handicapped parking

From Sunset Blvd., enter north campus at Westwood Plaza and proceed straight to the underground parking structure. Pay stations will be located on the left-hand side. Lot 4 accepts cash and credit cards. This is the only lot that will accept credit card payments within the proximity of Royce Hall.


Cost: Free and open to the public


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