March 27, 2017

‘Stumbling Blocks’ bicentennial exhibition to tackle U-M’s history, look to future

‘New Approaches to the Ethics of Biomedical Research’ will be staged in Kresge Commons green space on medical campus

Stumbling Blocks exhibit map

An upcoming pop-up art exhibition on campus will explore challenges throughout the University of Michigan's history and serve as a resource to guide U-M through its third century.

Titled “Stumbling Blocks,” the exhibition will consist of seven large, provocative art installations that will tackle important challenges and ethical questions that U-M has faced during the last two centuries, from the effects of Proposal 2 on the enrollment of students of color to the ethics of biomedical research.

The exhibition is associated with the President's Bicentennial Colloquium on the Future University Community.

The exhibition will be spread out across the Ann Arbor campus, and run April 3-8. Each exhibit will include an interpretative sign with additional information.

One of the seven installations will be mounted in the Kresge Commons area near the Medical Science I and II buildings and Frankel Cardiovascular Center.

New Approaches to the Ethics of Biomedical Research posits international research as developed through scientific and ethical partnership. Two flags will be installed at the same height — one signifying U-M, the other symbolizing the country of Brazil — to illustrate the long-standing ties Michigan has to research fields across the world. In the 1960s, U-M researchers who worked in Brazil were linked to a devastating measles outbreak among the Yanomami people. The most serious of these accusations have been debunked; the experience remains a touchstone for thinking about the ethical obligations of biomedical research.