Thursday, February 21, 2008

Gregory Pence's Ethics Program Lecture, "Why Not Enhance Humans?" has been rescheduled for Monday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m. on the Agnes Scott College campus in Evans Hall, rooms ABC. The talk is free and open to the public. See below for more information about this event, as well as the Roberta Berry talk on April 7. Thanks.

March 10, 2008 7:30 p.m., Evans Hall, ABC
"Why Not Enhance Humans?" Evolution has selected parents who want the best for their children. Liberal democracies also allow parents to make choices for and about their children that shape future traits of children. Despite fears of alarmists and concerns based on religion, biological choices that enhance exist on the present continuum of choice and already operate in medicine. The challenge for ethics is not to ban choices about enhancement but to insure they are made in the best interest of the child. Gregory Pence is Course Director for Medical Ethics at the University of Alabama medical school for 30 years. His research focuses on emerging ethical issues in medicine, including cloning, genetics, and issues at both ends of life. He has written Re-Creating Medicine: Ethical Issues at the Frontiers of Medicine (2000) and Classic Cases in Medical Ethics (fifth edition, 2007), and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and Journal of Medical Ethics.

Monday, April 7, 2008 7:30 p.m., Evans Hall, ABC
"Should We Engineer the Genomes of Our Children? Navigational Policymaking in the New Genetic Era"
Would it be right to engineer the genomes of our future children-to influence the development of their temperament, their physical features, and their abilities-if advances in bioscience and biotechnology make this possible? Roberta Berry explains why this question poses a difficult challenge for policymaking in modern, pluralistic, democratic societies and proposes how we might best respond to the challenge: by what she calls a "navigational approach" to policymaking.
Roberta M. Berry is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Law, Science & Technology Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has published a number of essays on bioethics, health care, and the legal, ethical, and policy implications of bioscience research and biotechnologies. Her forthcoming book, The Ethics of Genetic Engineering, compares the adequacy of utilitarian, deontological, and virtue-based ethical and political theories in addressing the issues posed by the possible advent of genetic engineering of human beings.