CFA - The Clinic and the Bank: Toward a Bioethics of the Information Revolution in Medicine

clinic   |   Bank   |   bioethics   |   medicine

Submission deadline: February 15, 2019


Sunday—Wednesday, July 7–10, 2019

The production of information technologies and the growing use of these and advanced medical technologies have become key tools for categorization and creation of social identities, to the point that it seems that medicine is the 21st century new social science. Indeed, the medicalization of life has not begun nowadays. But the uses of big data has the power to amplify medicalization processes to the point that we would understand almost all of our actions, self-determination and cultural surrounding, in terms of health and illness. This has dramatic consequences for bioethics that now bears the challenge of expanding its scope far beyond the clinic to the uses of biobanks, genetic and medical data, and the potential use of these big data in a neo-liberal environment,   

This seminar aims to promote research cooperation between various disciplines on issues related to the ramifications of the rise in medicine of big data in medicine. It is spearheaded by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute in conjunction with research centers at three Israeli universities: the Health, Humanism, and Society Center of the Negev and the School of Public Health at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the School for Public Policy and Government at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the STS program at Bar-Ilan University, with the sponsorship of the Israel Academy of Sciences. Among the topics we will discuss are aspects of political economy and power relations, commodification, the new digital subject, and biological citizenship. We would like to understand the transition between medicalization, commodification, market, and political field. We would also like to understand how bioethical discussions focusing on informed consent and privacy hardly reach these fundamental problems involved in this discussion.

The four-day seminar will be held at the Van leer Jerusalem Institute and at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. We invite post-docs and PhD students in the social sciences, especially anthropology, critical sociology, and social history; information and communication; science and technology; public health; and medicine to discuss the revolutionary aspect of giant medical databases and their influence on the social sciences.

The participants’ research will be presented and discussed at the seminar and there will be lectures by experts in the field.

The Van Leer Jerusalem institute will provide overseas students up to $500 grant as partial reimbursement for their air travel expenses and accommodations in Jerusalem.


Proposals must include:

  • Abstract of the research to be discussed (up to 500 words)
  • A short letter detailing the applicant’s areas of academic interest and how the proposed study is connected to the seminar topic
  • A short bio (10 lines max) and a list of publications (if applicable)

Submission deadline: February 15, 2019

Submit to:

Please note that we will be asking for pre-circulated papers by June 1, 2019


Invited scholars:

Prof. Amy Fairchild, Columbia University

Prof. Klaus Høyer, University of Copenhagen

Prof. David Jones, Harvard University

Prof. Jonathan Metzel, Vanderbilt University


Organizing Committee:
Dr. Hagai Boas, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
Prof. Nadav Davidovitch, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Prof. Dani Filc, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Dr. Limor Samimian Darash, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem