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Call for papers and active participation

Kategorie: Veranstaltungen

German-Israeli Symposium on ‘Bioethics and the Legacy of the Holocaust’

Date: May 13-17, 2019 in Berlin, Germany

The symposium is part of a series of interdisciplinary symposia/closed workshops on ethical, social and legal aspects of the modern life sciences, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The event will be organized by PD Dr. Heiko Stoff, Institute for History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover and Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz, Department of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University Medical Center Göttingen.

Target Group:

PhD candidates, post-docs and early career scholars in the fields of bioethics/philosophy, sociology/science & technology studies (STS) or history of science /medicine.



In the summer of 2017, we established a German-Israeli working group which aims at jointly examining the impact and legacy of the Holocaust on the developments of ‘bioethics’ in Germany and Israel.

The main research question is whether and how the concept, discipline, and debates of current bioethics and related practices and discourses (e.g. on ethical guidelines, committees, counseling, public priorities, ethico-legal developments, research and health policies) in Germany and Israel have been influenced by historical memories of/identification with the perpetrators’ or the victims’ perspectives. Also the impact of the so-called Nuremberg Code, and by this the US debate on ‘historical lessons’, on current bioethics will be reflected. While many studies have a focus on local debates, transnational and cross-cultural exchanges of and between such debates should also be considered. Overall, the symposium aims at establishing a theoretical framework for such interdisciplinary studies by addressing methodological and conceptual questions.

This collaboration aims at developing a larger, continuous platform encouraging joint research and publications. Therefore, a grant proposal and future publication projects are envisioned. This symposium consolidates this network with extensive exchange on existing, ongoing, and envisioned studies. The network members have different disciplinary backgrounds: history of science and medicine, bioethics, and cultural studies as well as STS and public health ethics

We therefore invite junior/early career researchers from Germany and Israel to join us actively during the symposium as well as afterwards. All participants will present their current research/projects and also function as commentators for other presentations. The symposium aims at contributing to a historization of bioethics as well as to a cultural self-reflection of bioethics. Furthermore, studies with a local focus will be encouraged to take on a more transnational or comparative stance. 


Invited speakers:

·         Hagai Boas, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

·         Nadav Davidovitch, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev 

·         Wolfgang Eckart, Universität Heidelberg 

·         Dani Filc, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev 

·         Yael Hashiloni-Dolev, Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo

·         Susanne Michl, Charité Berlin

·         Sascha Topp, MPI f Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin

·         Rakefet Zalashik, University of Tel Aviv


Contributions in the following areas in particular are welcome:

(1) bioethics with a focus on the impact of medical history of the first half of the 20th century on current debates

(2) theoretical, philosophical, or didactic conceptions of historical responsibility in the areas of teaching history and ethics of medicine

(3) contemporary historical studies on how the Holocaust, ‘Nazi medicine’, or related fascist-totalitarian atrocities of the first half of the 20th century impact current health policy

(4) cultural-comparative approaches on health policy/biopolicy considering historical developments

(5) social studies of public or health professional attitudes/narratives related to the Holocaust, ‘Nazi medicine’, or bio-selective technologies in immigration politics.



Applications in English are asked to be sent by email (as one single PDF-file) to: Silke.Schicktanz(at) by January 3, 2019 and should include:

·         an abstract (max. 600 words)

·         a 2-page CV incl. list of most relevant own publications

·         a brief letter of interest

·         a statement of commitment regarding the participation of the whole workshop as well as the willingness to submit a paper afterwards to a planned publication.


All applicants will be informed whether or not their abstract has been accepted by February 2019. The number of participants is limited and therefore a competitive application process will be carried out. The conference language will be English.


In the case of an accepted abstract, travel and accommodation costs will be covered. Accepted participants will receive a travel compensation up to 900 € (abroad) or 300 € (from Germany, if place of residence is not Berlin). Additional accommodation costs and lunch/dinner will be covered by the organizers.



PD Dr. Heiko Stoff

Institute for History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine
Medizinische Hochschule Hannover
Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1
30625 Hannover, Germany



Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz

Cultural and Ethical Studies of Biomedicine
University Medical Center Göttingen
Department of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine
Humboldtallee 36
37073 Göttingen; Germany



In case you have questions, please contact:

Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz: