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Biomedical Humanities Program

Recent advances in molecular biology are drastically changing our perceptions of disease, diagnosis, and therapy. This is possible thanks to progress in understanding the molecular basis of pathologies, at the level of genetic predisposition as well as of its interaction with individual lifestyles and environments, which is enabling in turn the development of new diagnostic (e.g. through molecular markers) and therapeutic approaches.

Given this new scientific framework, new foundational, ethical, sociological and political analyses are needed. In other words, it is time for Biomedical Humanities (BH). This means considering from a humanistic point of view the entire iceberg whose tip is the care of individual patients, but whose basis is formed by the huge numbers of scientists working on the molecular basis of diseases, on how to detect them before they become lethal, on how to cure them by taking into account who that individual patient is and which his/her individual needs are. Therefore the main goal of a Biomedical Humanities program is to build a new effective humanistic framework to correctly face these issues. This means also to cooperate in establishing a democratic knowledge-based society, where citizens have the right tools to participate in the making of scientific policies.

Biomedical Humanities demands a comprehensive approach with contributions from many different fields and a pivotal role can be played by those institutions, such as the Campus IFOM-IEO, which have the mission of producing scientific knowledge but also of taking responsibility for the ethical, social and political implications of their researches.

BH at IFOM-IEO Campus

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