Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities

Medicine and Media

The third annual conference of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities and the Master of Arts in Medical Humanities & Bioethics Program of Northwestern Medicine Feinberg School of Medicine




Event Details

We are thrilled to announce that this spring we will again host a conference dedicated to sharing research and scholarship in bioethics and medical humanities at Northwestern. The conference will feature poster and panel presentations that highlight the academic diversity of our field and of the Northwestern community.


Call for Proposals

We invite everyone with ties to Northwestern University and its affiliated medical centers, who are working on projects in bioethics and/or medical humanities, to submit an abstract. This includes teaching faculty, health-care providers, fellows, alumni of the Medical Humanities and Bioethics graduate program, NU graduate students, and Feinberg medical students.

We especially encourage proposals related to the conference theme of “Medicine & Media,” but welcome proposals related to any topic within bioethics or medical humanities.

The deadline is Monday, February 11 (midnight Chicago time).




This year's theme was chosen to promote a rich, multi-faceted discussion at the intersection of medicine and media. We encourage engagement with the term media in its multiple senses: as the means of public communication (e.g., mass media, social media), but also as the substrate for cultivation, conveyance, or expression.

From the microscopic level of in vitro culture media to the macro view of health, illness, and health care in our current historical times, how might we think of media as the substance through which impressions or forces are transmitted, or in which something lives or is cultured?

Some other possible questions to consider:

  • How do medicine and media work together? In what ways are they at odds?
  • How do media portrayals inform perceptions of health and health care?
  • What new media forms are doctors and patients engaging with, and what significance does this have?
  • How does the medium of a message shape how others—patients, students, the public—receive it?
  • What is communicated—or miscommunicated—in the media used in clinical practice?
  • What media surround and shape medicine, determining how the profession itself lives and grows?
  • What are the media through which medicine transmits or expresses power?

These are just a few possibilities. We encourage broad and unexpected interpretations of the theme, and we also welcome proposals related to other topics in bioethics or medical humanities.



Registration will be free of charge and will open in February or March 2019.


Northwestern Calendar

Northwestern attendees: this event can also be viewed and shared on PlanIt Purple.


For More Information

Please contact: Myria Knox,


“The medium is the message.”


             – Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, 1964


“Culture media contain all the elements that most bacteria need for growth…”


             – Wikipedia