News from PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
For immediate release: Oct. 25, 2001
Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601, firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference examines what it means to be human
Who: Prominent ethicists, theologians, historians and scientists, including Princeton University President Shirley M. Tilghman and former President Harold T. Shapiro (complete list below)
What: A conference sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religion: "What Does It Mean To Be Human? Religion and Bioethics"
When: Nov. 8 and 9, 2001
Where: McCosh 50 on the Princeton University
Are we special creations of God or merely links in an evolutionary chain? Should we tinker with our genetic inheritance? And if we do, what does that imply about our relationship to what we understand to be God? Recent developments in evolutionary psychology, cognitive neuroscience, genomics, and astrophysics have raised these and other fundamental questions about what it means to be human.
Such questions have both critical ethical implications and profound theological consequences. With extended scientific knowledge comes greater responsibility to use that knowledge well. Religious traditions have much to offer when it comes to questions of how we should live and what makes us human.
This conference, sponsored by Princeton's Center for the Study of Religion, will bring together a nationally known, interdisciplinary group of scientists, theologians and other scholars to reflect upon these questions and upon broader ethical issues of modern science.
For more information, visit <http://www.princeton.edu/~csrelig/>. The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is requested by Nov. 2.
James F. Childress is Edwin B. Klye Professor of Religious Studies, professor of medical education, and co-director of the Virginia Health Policy Center at the University of Virginia. He is vice-chairman of the national Task Force on Organ Transplantation, and also has served in numerous bioethics organizations and advisory groups, including the board of directors of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the Biomedical Ethics Advisory Committee and several monitoring boards for National Institutes of Health clinical trials. In July 1996, President Clinton appointed him to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission.
Thomas H. Murray is president of The Hastings Center in Garrison, N.Y. and former director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. He is a founding editor of the journal Medical Humanities Review and is on the editorial boards of Human Gene Therapy and The Physician and Sportsmedicine. He served as a presidential appointee to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, acting as chairman of the subcommittee on genetics. He is a member of the Committee on Ethics of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Social Issues Committee of the American Society for Human Genetics, and the Ethics Committee of the Human Genome Organization. He is a past member and founder of the working group on ethical, legal and social issues to the National Institutes of Health Center for Human Genome Research, and chairman of its task force on genetics and insurance.
Gilbert Meilaender is the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Professor of Christian Ethics at Valparaiso University. He taught at the University of Virginia and at Oberlin College before joining Valparaiso and currently serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Religious Ethics and on the editorial board of the magazine First Things. He is a fellow of the Hastings Center.
John A. Robertson holds the Vinson and Elkins Chair in Law at the University of Texas Law School in Austin. He has served on or been a consultant to many national bioethics advisory bodies, and is currently co-chairman of the ethics committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Robertson is best known for his pioneering work on the legal and ethical issues involved in biomedical technology and has testified on these subjects before Congress.
Peter Singer is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. In 1977, he was appointed to a chair of philosophy at Monash University in Melbourne and subsequently was founding director of that university's Centre for Human Bioethics. He was the founding president of the International Association of Bioethics and founding co-editor of the journal Bioethics.
Lee M. Silver is a professor of molecular biology and public affairs at Princeton University. He also has worked as an independent investigator at Long Island's Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Arriving at Princeton University in 1984, Silver has made significant contributions to the field of behavioral genetics and now writes on the social and ethical implications of advances in reproductive technology and genetics. He is the author, most recently, of "Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning Will Remake the American Family."
Jeffrey L. Stout is a professor of religion at Princeton University. His interests include religious and philosophical ethics, social criticism, political thought, modern theology, rhetoric, and the theory of interpretation. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on such topics as religion and morality, Christian ethics and modern society, religion and contemporary philosophy, and the virtue of piety. He has served on numerous university and department committees and is currently a member of the executive committee of the Center for the Study of Religion.
Carolyn Rouse is an assistant professor of anthropology at Princeton University. Her areas of specialization include medical anthropology, visual anthropology, resistance, critical race theory, and consciousness. She has done extensive fieldwork with African-American converts to Sunni Islam, as well as with children and adolescents who have long-term illnesses and/or disabilities.
In addition, she has produced, directed, and/or edited a number of documentaries including "Chicks in White Satin" and "Purification to Prozac: Treating Mental Illness in Bali."
Shirley M. Tilghman is president of Princeton University. As a postdoctoral fellow with Philip Leder at the National Institutes of Health, she participated in the cloning of the first mammalian gene. As an independent investigator she identified the H19 gene in mice, an early example of parental imprinting, and showed how this gene and its regulatory elements initiate and maintain parental imprinting. Since 1986 she has been the Howard A. Prior Professor of the Life Sciences at Princeton University. She is a Howard Hughes investigator, fellow of the Royal Society of London, and member of the National Academy of Sciences. She is an outspoken advocate of the continuity between science and society, is involved in ethical, legal and social issues of the Human Genome Project, chairs the Council on Science and Technology, and serves on the advisory council to the director of the NIH and as a member of numerous scientific advisory boards. She has been on the editorial boards of Genes and Development, Molecular and Cellular Biology, the Journal of Cell Biology, and Nucleic Acids Research.
Harold T. Shapiro is president emeritus of Princeton University and professor of economic and public affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He was a member of President Bush's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology, chaired the Institute of Medicine's Committee to Study Employer-Based Health Benefits, and was chairman of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. A member of the Institute of Medicine and a fellow of the American Philosophical Society of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he also has been a research scientist at the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations and at the Institute of Public Policy Studies. He served as president of the University of Michigan, where he also taught.