Call for Abstracts: Public Participation and Health Equality in Future Biobanking

GSEJ is to organise a combined panel for the upcoming EASST-4S annual conference in Amsterdam between 16-19 July 2024.  We hope you will be able to join us! Please see the call for abstracts below:

Topic: Public Participation and Health Equality in Future Biobanking

Key words: Public engagement, minority/marginalised communities, donation studies, health equality, data science

Equitable public health outcomes hinge not only on robust infrastructures of bioeconomy, policy framework and competitive innovation work force, but also on the quality of participation from diverse communities. The ascendance of data science and AI-assisted medical research has prompted numerous nations to intensify their strategic policies and investments in fortifying the capabilities of biobanks.

However, it has also underlined a persistent failure to mobilise minority groups or marginalised communities into actively contributing to and, subsequently benefit from structural and scientific advantages. For example, in the UK, the racial disparity of donors for biobanks and its immense health impact has been characterised as a ‘Silent Crisis’ in public health. Yet ethnic-specific initiatives, while motivating community donations and specialised registries, can also reinforce racial distinctions, further perpetuating the racialisation of biomedicine that has historically deterred engagement among ethnic minority groups.

There is a pressing imperative for methodological innovations and a thoughtful recalibration of priorities to transform how health institutions and professionals engage with minority groups or marginalised communities. This is essential to evoke trusting and reciprocal partnership between minority/marginalised communities and health establishments to curate a biodatase that is inclusive and equitable for future collective health.

Co-convened by a sociologist, a natural scientist and an artist, this panel is at the confluence of creative methods for science communication, the democratization of science, and participation research within the broader domain of biobanking. It fosters the examination of theoretical underpinnings pertaining to imperative transformations, the practical means to actualize them, and empirical insights concerning the organisation and delivery of these transformative endeavors.

We invite conventional paper presentations, visual exhibitions or photography displays, as well as brief demonstrations of alternative creative methods that foster broader public engagement in advancing biobanks as a catalyst for health equity.


Submit your proposal here:

Deadline: 12 February 2024