CRISPRcon 2020 Virtual: Race and Health Equity

57 people attending
CRISPRcon 2020 Virtual presents a series of dialogues exploring gene editing’s role in COVID-19 testing and treatment, racial disparities and inequities, strategies to address climate change, and other pressing issues. In a year that has transformed the world in unexpected ways, join us virtually for a dynamic, diverse, and timely lineup of interactive discussions that consider gene editing across applications, disciplines, geographies, communities, cultures, and perspectives. For more information about CRISPRcon 2020 including our sponsors, partners, and complete fall lineup, please visit


In early June, almost 1,300 epidemiologists signed onto an open letter supporting protests across the country, describing white supremacy as a “lethal public health issue that predates and contributes to COVID-19.” The twin crises of 2020 – one 400 years in the making and the second beginning last year in Wuhan, China – make clear the relationship between racism and public health. This week’s sessions tackle race and health equity, exploring the relationship among race, gene editing, and COVID-19 and opportunities to responsibly innovate with the meaningful inclusion of Black voices in science, technology, and healthcare. 

Tuesday, September 15

In partnership with Howard University
Race, gene editing, and COVID-19: How far does CRISPR get us toward health equity?
The COVID-19 crisis is affecting everyone, but in the United States, Black communities are contracting COVID-19 and dying at higher rates because of race-based inequities that persist in American society. In parallel, scientists are using CRISPR and other gene editing tools to develop COVID-19 vaccines and to create cures for other diseases that disproportionately impact Black communities. How might gene editing-focused approaches exacerbate and/or address racial health disparities, the various factors from which they arise, and the diseases in which they manifest? How far will gene editing really get us toward health equity?

Thursday, September 17

In partnership with Howard University
Responsible innovation, gene editing, and race: Amplifying Black perspectives in pursuit of improved health outcomes
For various reasons, many Americans don’t trust scientific guidance or information. As we are witnessing with COVID-19, in a public health crisis, it is easy for misinformation, miscommunication, fear, and confusion to take root, especially without a baseline of “trust” or understanding among the scientific community, government institutions, technology companies, and the general public. What does COVID-19 reveal about the relationship between these institutions and the public – especially Black Americans? Are there models for innovating in responsible ways, using gene editing or other technologies, that better incorporate the voices of Black Americans?

Thursday, September 17

Ideas Marketplace: breakout discussions on Race and Health Equity

Immediately following the panel discussion, we will hold an Ideas Marketplace, where volunteer hosts will lead other CRISPRcon participants in informal video breakout discussions on a topic of the host’s choice. (Interested in being a discussion host? Apply here by August 20)

CRISPRcon 2020 Virtual returns September 29-October 1 with discussions on Hope and Hype. To register for this next event, please visit CRISPRcon 2020 Virtual: Hope and Hype


· Stage
CRISPRcon: Race, gene editing, and COVID-19
· Stage
CRISPRcon: Responsible innovation, gene editing, and race
· Sessions
CRISPRcon: Ideas Marketplace


Hosted by

Keystone Policy Center

CRISPRcon is a unique forum bringing diverse voices together to discuss the future of CRISPR and related gene editing technologies across applications