Twitter Chat: Remembering The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

42 years later are African-American still afraid of being exploited by science?


Twitter Chat hosted by the National Science and Technology News Service (NSTNS) -a science media advocacy group that works to diversify health and science news by providing diverse experts and original content to news outlets-would like to commemorate the revelation of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment by hosting a Twitter Chat on bioethics and address lingering concerns about medical mistrust in the African-American community.


Professor of Sociology Ruha Benjamin, Ph.D. and Alfiee M. Breland-Noble, Ph.D. will discuss bioethics and the African American community with NSTNS members and the public. Some topics will be, “Should African-Americans still be afraid of being exploited by science?” and, “What is the science research community doing to regain their trust?”


Monday, July 28, 2014 at 1:00pm EST at #NSTNSchat and #Bioethics hosted by @TheDarkSci.

Participant Bios:

Ruha Benjamin, Ph.D.

Ruha Benjamin, Ph.D.







Ruha Benjamin is an interdisciplinary scholar who examines the relationship between science, technology, medicine, and society. She is a professor of African American studies at Princeton University and is the author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier. Dr. Benjamin’s work is at the forefront of debates over the relationships between innovation and equity, science and citizenship, and health and justice.

Website:  Twitter: @ruha9 and @peoples_science


Alfiee M. Breland-Noble

Alfiee M. Breland-Noble, Ph.D.







Alfiee M. Breland-Noble is Director of The AAKOMA (African American Knowledge Optimized for Mindfully-Healthy Adolescents) Project and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Georgetown University Medical Center. She is a child psychologist and a researcher in academic medicine who has been a federally funded investigator for over 10 years. Her research interests include reducing mental health disparities for African American and diverse adolescents; treatment engagement for depression in diverse adolescents; mental health stigma reduction in diverse populations, health equity in suicide prevention, Community Based Participatory Research with a specific focus on Faith Based Health Promotion and Mindfulness in diverse parenting contexts.

Website:  Twitter:  @dralfiee

Chat log can be found here

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3 Responses to Twitter Chat: Remembering The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

  1. katellington says:

    Among African American there is a distrust that can be traced to a deep, dark place with a history of silence. While the Tuskegee experiment is a case well-established in the literature and public health the more subtle expansive exploitation of black women in the south remains unheard. Medical appendectomies were hysterectomy procedures performed by doctors unknowingly and without consent on African American women throughout the south. In Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, Harriet Washington provides background for the a procedure that was the impetus for Fannie Lou Hamer’s move to fight for justice. Many women are alive and remember as do family and friends as well as communities.

  2. katellington says:

    This story elucidates that contemporary context that fuels mistrust. In this case, you can see a how our health system fails a cohort of patients and our community. It’s also noteworthy that Henrietta Lacks (as in HeLa cells) was from East Baltimore. See this story:

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