Can Medical Instruments be Racist?

ACS Webinars

Did you know that Spirometers assume a 10-15% smaller lung capacity for Black patients compared to their white counterparts? How did this happen?

Join Research Curator Roger Turner of the Science History Institute as he explores how seemingly neutral medical instruments like spirometers and pulse oximeters amplify racial disparities and how we might make these instruments—and the social systems that use them—better serve all the people they measure.

This ACS Webinar is moderated by Bill Tsuzynski of The Unami Group LLC and co-produced with the Science History Institute and Chemical & Engineering News.

What You Will Learn

  • The history of the spirometer and pulse oximeter from the work of Lundy Braun and Amy Moran-Thomas
  • How medical instruments can amplify racial disparities
  • What we can learn from the history of these instruments to create ones to better serve all people they measure


Roger Turner
Research Curator,
Science History Institute

Bill Tsuzynski
The Unami Group, LLC

Co-Produced With

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