Evaluating DSM-5: A Debate at Harvard

There’s a debate on this topic scheduled for 12:00 p.m., March 11, 2014, at Wasserstein Hall, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The event is free, and open to the public.

The debate is sponsored by the Petrie-Flom Center For Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.  This is the same group that produced the recent symposium on Institutional Corruption and Pharmaceutical Policy.

The debate will be moderated by I. Glen Cohen, Professor Law at Harvard and Co-Director of the Petri-Flom Center.


  • Steven E. Hyman, Director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute and Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology 
  • Anne Becker, Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Global Health and Medicine, Harvard Medical School 
  • Nita Farahany, Professor of Law, Professor of Genome Sciences & Policy, and Professor of Philosophy at Duke University 

It is encouraging that these kinds of issues are being discussed.  Readers living in the Cambridge area might like to attend, but I imagine that the Petri-Flom Center will publish transcripts/summaries after the event, for general release.

Thanks to Dustin Salzedo on Twitter for the link to the  debate.

  • Francesca Allan

    I hope a video link (in addition to a print record) is posted online. I would love to see what’s said.

    Is the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research related to the Stanley Institute that Fuller Torrey is part of?

    I agree with you that’s it promising that these issues are beginning to be taken seriously.

  • Brett Deacon

    This “debate” involves “discussion of the new revisions and their implications for patients, medical practice, research, and the law.” The panelists include
    (a) Steve Hyman, former NIMH director and champion of the biomedical model, (b) Anne Becker, who served on the DSM-5 feeding and eating disorders workgroup, and (c) Nita Farahany, a law professor who studies neuroscience evidence in the courtroom and who, as far as I can tell, has never written about DSM-5. This may be a “debate,” but it
    does not appear to be the kind of debate DSM-5 critics would like to see. The
    absence of Allen Frances is conspicuous.

  • Phil_Hickey


    As far as I know, there’s no connection. The Stanley Center is in Boston; the Stanley Institute is in Maryland.

  • Phil_Hickey


    Of course, it might just be more window dressing. But I was impressed by the Petrie-Flom Center symposium. So we’ll see.