Alexandra Stern will present "Don't Reduce Me to a Label: Disability Rights, Genetic Diagnosis, and Social Values," a lecture on the origins of genetic counseling in the 1940s. She will discuss how the first generation of medical geneticists stigmatized people with disabilities while simultaneously laying the groundwork for empowerment and activism. Her presentation will trace this tension over the course of the 20th-century as medical geneticists and genetic counselors became increasingly supportive of people with disabilities and the disabilities rights movement.
Stern is the Zina Pitcher Collegiate Professor in the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America, which won the America Public Health Association's Arthur Viseltear Award for outstanding contribution to the history of public health.
The lecture will take place in the Rockwell Pavilion in the M.D. Anderson Library, accessible through Entrance 1 off Calhoun Road. Parking is available in Lot 1E.