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The Center for Life Sciences and Public Learning

Insoo Hyun, PhD

The Center for Life Sciences and Public Learning aims to educate the public in Boston and beyond on rapid advancements in the life sciences, and to leverage the tremendous talent and knowledge that exists in the Boston life sciences ecosystem.

It is the first of five centers under the Museum’s Boston Science Common initiative, which will transform the Museum into Boston’s hub for public science learning, where everyone will be able to access trustworthy and accurate science information. Future topics covered by the centers may include the environment, data science and AI, sustainability, technology and engineering, and Earth and space.

The Center for Life Sciences and Public Learning delivers science at the pace of change through public forums, events, exhibits, citizen science projects, and digital programming on life sciences issues such as vaccinations and genetic engineering, as well as building partnerships with government, industry, academia, and the public.

With so many breakthroughs in the life sciences forging ahead, it is imperative to foster open and inclusive lines of communication among researchers, industry leaders, government, and members of the public, and to do so in a meaningful, inclusive, and bidirectional manner. Progress in the life sciences must proceed responsibly and be shaped by the values we share in promoting human and ecological well-being.

For more information about the Center for Life Sciences and Public Learning, please contact CLSPL@mos.org.

About the Director

Insoo Hyun, PhD, is the inaugural Director of the Center for Life Sciences and Public Learning at the Museum of Science, Boston.

Previously, Dr. Hyun has held academic appointments at Harvard Medical School, where he was Director of Research Ethics and a faculty member in the Center for Bioethics, and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. He was also Professor of Bioethics and Philosophy at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, where he taught undergraduate, graduate, and medical students for over 18 years.

Since 2005, Dr. Hyun has been heavily involved with the ISSCR (International Society for Stem Cell Research). He has helped draft all of the ISSCR’s international research guidelines and served twice as the Chair of the ISSCR Ethics Committee. His intellectual interests transcend stem cell ethics and policy to include emerging technologies in the life sciences and new strategies for community engagement in bioengineering. Dr. Hyun is a newly-appointed member of NExTRAC – a federal advisory committee that provides recommendations to the NIH Director and a public forum for the discussion of the scientific, safety, and ethical issues associated with emerging biotechnologies.

Dr. Hyun received his BA and MA in Philosophy with Honors in Ethics in Society from Stanford University and his PhD in Philosophy from Brown University. He has been interviewed frequently on National Public Radio and has served on national commissions for the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C. Dr. Hyun is a regular bioethics contributor to Nature, Science, Cell Stem Cell, among many other academic and scientific journals. His book, Bioethics and the Future of Stem Cell Research, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013.

Contact Insoo Hyun, PhD at ihyun@mos.org.

The Big Question

The journal Nature recently published a groundbreaking new study by world-renowned Stanford neuroscientist Sergiu Pasca involving the transfer of human brain organoids into the brains of rats. Insoo Hyun speaks candidly with Dr. Pasca about his research. Why did he do it? How might this uncover the mysteries of psychiatric disorders? And the Big Question we are all wondering about – can these rats ever develop “human-like” consciousness? Together, they demystify the science.


Monkeypox Explained with Dr. Sari Sanchez

In recent weeks, public health experts have been investigating an outbreak of Monkeypox in countries where the disease is typically not found. As of June 1, 2022, the CDC is reporting 19 cases in the U.S. Thank you to Dr. Sari Sanchez from the Boston Public Health Commission for visiting the Museum to discuss the Monkeypox outbreak around the world and share how we can safeguard ourselves against this disease here at home.