Ezra Chan

Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow

20222023 Forum on Heritage

Ezra Chan

Health and Societies

CAS, 2024

Ezra is a student from Vancouver majoring in Health and Societies. While not directly related to his core studies, he is interested in examining the ethical implications of modern museums and exploring their role in heritage. During his time at Penn, he has been a co-founder of the Gap year Association at Penn, the president of the Penn Epilepsy Awareness Club, and a committee member and mentor with the Assembly of International Students. He has previously conducted research on tuberculosis pathogenesis, concussions in adolescents, and is currently (2022 Summer) a research intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a foreign policy think tank. In his spare time, he enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, beekeeping, learning guitar, and playing board games.

Legacies of Loss: An Ethical Analysis of Human Remains in Modern Collections

Human remains from members of historically marginalized communities are currently held in museum collections and institutions of higher education throughout the United States. The history of their acquisition and use in research are often riddled with connections to colonial legacies and race science, and are thus the subject of ethical discussion as to their place in these collections today. This project aims to explore the ethical implications of human remains currently being housed in museums and other institutions, focusing on both their proposed benefits and harms to the communities they are meant to serve. The project discusses the adherence and violation of various ethical principles, the impact on descendant communities, and compares the practice of maintaining human remains collections to legal frameworks such as NAGPRA.