The Ethics Institute hosts informal undergrad discussions throughout the academic year. Students engage with speakers who discuss ethical research in a variety of disciplines. 

Past Student Discussions

November 13, 2023 at 6:30

Dinner Discussion with Megan Bogia '15


Injustice and the Costs of College

Megan Bogia '15, PhD candidate at Harvard, discusses her research centered on policy ethics and higher education. Specifically, she combines empirical and normative analyses to examine dilemmas in postsecondary policy like issues of college access and the free public college debate.

Mary A. Ott, MD

October 18, 2023, 8-9am

Lecture topic:  The intersection of ethics and the political restrictions on reproductive health care for adolescents (inclusive of trans health care and abortion care)

Mary Ott, MD, MA, is Professor of Pediatrics at IU School of Medicine and a Faculty Investigator at the Indiana University Center for Bioethics.  She is board certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and provides adolescent healthcare at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. She is also the Fellowship Director for Adolescent Medicine at Riley Hospital.

Dr. Ott's research interests are adolescent pregnancy and HIV prevention, pediatric research ethics, and adolescent consent and confidentiality. Her research includes implementation sciences approaches to community-based adolescent pregnancy preventions, adolescent contraceptive access, ethics of research with vulnerable populations, and global adolescent health.  Her work has been funded by the NIH, the Society for Family Planning Research, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

Dr. Ott co-authored the influential American Academy of Pediatrics position statement on Contraception for Adolescents, is a member of the Guttmacher Institute's Editorial Advisory Committee for Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, and is the adolescent editor for the editorial board of the Journal of Pediatrics.

In case you missed it, Webex link here.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at 1:00pm

Manon Garcia, The Joy of Consent


Manon Garcia

In The Joy of Consent, French philosopher Manon Garcia upends the assumptions that underlie this very American debate, reframing consent as an ally of pleasure rather than a legalistic killjoy. In doing so, she rejects conventional wisdom on all sides. As a legal norm, consent can prove rickety: consent alone doesn't make sex licit—adults engaged in BDSM are morally and legally suspect even when they consent. And nonconsensual sex is not, as many activists insist, always rape. People often agree to sex because it is easier than the alternative, Garcia argues, challenging the simplistic equation between consent and noncoercion.

Manon Garcia is the author of We Are Not Born Submissive: How Patriarchy Shapes Women's Lives. A Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and a Junior Professor at Freie Universität Berlin, she has taught at the University of Chicago and Yale University. She received the Prix des Rencontres Philosophiques de Monaco for the best book of philosophy published in France in 2022.



November 5, 12:05-1pm

Global Perspectives on Organ Donation: Gift or Obligation?


Global Perspectives on Organ Donation: Gift or Obligation?

Medical Student Grand Rounds and Geisel SOM's Ethics Interest Group will be collaborating this month to bring a presentation by our very own, Amal Cheema '23. We are looking forward to Amal sharing her thoughtful, passionate, and insightful research work with us in this interactive presentation. The focus will be the intersection of religio-cultural beliefs and organ donation, with an aim of providing insight into transplantation ethics in the context of sociopolitical and religio-cultural influences that shape health beliefs and practices.

Event is both in-person in Kellogg 200 and virtual via Zoom.

RSVP here for the Zoom link.

September 21 at 8:00am

Douglas J Opel, MD, MPH

Dr. Opel's grand rounds topic will be on Shared Decision Making in Pediatrics.


Douglas J Opel, MD, MPH

Bioethics Consultation Service, General Pediatrics

Children's Title: Interim Director, Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics

Academic Title: Associate Professor, Division of Bioethics and Palliative Care; Associate Professor, Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics

Research Center: Center for Clinical and Translational Research

October 4, 2021, 1-2pm Wheeler Tent, Wheeler Lawn

Hiring and Algorithms: Why Bother with Interviews?


Vikram Bhargava

The Ethics Institute will host a student discussion with Vikram Bhargava Assistant Professor of Strategic Management & Public Policy at the George Washington University School of Business, Monday October 4, 1-2pm Topic: "Hiring and Algorithms: Why Bother with Interviews?" Limit 15 students. Lunch will be served.

October 6, 2021 1-2pm, Hitchcock Tent, 18 Mass

Is Protecting Cultural Heritage a Human Right?


Patty Gerstenblith

A student discussion with visiting Montgomery Fellow Patty Gerstenblith, DePaul College of Law, Distinguished Research Professor of Law; Faculty Director, Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law.


Past Student Discussions

September 21, 2021, 5-6pm

The Science of Ethics: an Introduction


The Science of Ethics with Professor Bedi

Join us for a student discussion with Sonu Bedi, the Director of the Ethics Institute, about ethics and civil disobedience.  Open to all first year students.

There will be a short reading required before the session.

April 7, 2021 at 12:15pm

Ethics Interest Group Discussion



Dr Brian Cummings

Dr. Brian Cummings: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Attending, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Chair, Pediatric Ethics Committee
Medical Director and Vice Chair, MGHfCMassachusetts General Hospital for Children

"The Tragic Case of Little Charlie Gard: Lessons from Bioethics in the Media."
Here's a link from the BBC.  https://www.bbc.com/news/health-40554462

In case you missed this event, watch the Zoom recording here:


Meeting ID: 939 2822 3419
Passcode: 833279

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 12:15pm

Discussion with Dr. Cummings and Geisel and Ethics Institute students of the "The Tragic Case of Little Charlie Gard: Lessons from Bioethics in the Media"

Brian Cummings, MD
Dr. Brian Cummings is the chair of the Pediatric Ethics Committee at Mass General Hospital for Children.

Brian M. Cummings, MD, is a pediatric intensivist, as well medical director and vice chair for the Department of Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital, and the executive director for the Clinical Process Improvement Leadership Program (CPIP) at Mass General Brigham. He received his undergraduate degree with honors at Boston College with a senior thesis on physician assisted suicide. He received his medical degree from University of Connecticut and completed his residency and fellowship training at MGH. A graduate of the HMS ethics certificate program, he leads the pediatric ethics committee at MGH. Brian's area of interests are pediatric, professional and organizational ethics and he has published various articles on pediatric ethical issues, quality and safety, and professional development.

November 12, 2020 at noon

Religion and Ethics in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Ethics talk hosted at Geisel. All are welcome!

Topic: Religion and Ethics in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit


Lunch Discussion with Zia Rahman, February 20, 2020 at noon

Virtue Signaling, Cancel Culture, and the Morality of Grace 


Zia Rahman

Join us at the Ethics Institute for lunch and discussion with author Zia Rahman, February 20 at noon.  Zia Haider Rahman is the author of the critically acclaimed and prize-winning novel, In the Light of What We Know.

Zia was born in a Bangladeshi village and moved to England with his family, living first in a squat before being allocated project housing in inner London. After attending a north London state-funded school, Zia studied at Balliol College, Oxford, and at Cambridge and Yale universities. He holds postgraduate degrees in mathematics, economics and law, and was awarded the highest merit scholarship at the English bar. After a short stint as an investment banker at Goldman, Sachs, he spent several years as a financial services lawyer, anti-corruption activist and international human rights lawyer.

Undergrad Lunch with Vikram Bhargava, October 28, 2019, 12:45-2pm

Banning Driving and Buying Autonomous


Vikram Bhargava

Join us on October 28, 2019 at 12:45 in Haldeman Room 125 for lunch and discussion with Vikram Bhargava, Assistant Professor of Management at SCU's Leavey School of Business, will discuss the new ethical concerns raised by autonomous vehicles.





Undergrad lunch discussion October 23, 2019 12-1pm

What, if Anything, Do We Owe Our Blood Relatives?


Frido and Christine Mann Poster

The Ethics Institute welcomes this year's Montgomery Fellows, Frido and Christine Mann.  Join us for an informal lunchtime discussion "What, If Anything, Do We Owe Our Blood Relatives?". October 23, 2019, 12:00-1:00pm, Blunt Alumni Center, Room 204.