Cedarville University to Host Bioethical Issues Conference

by Public Relations Office

Cedarville, Ohio—Cedarville University will host the Ninth Annual Conference on Bioethical Issues October 30-31. This year`s conference, co-sponsored by Mount Vernon Nazarene University, will focus on the ethical limits of transforming human beings through nanotechnology, genetics, and the machine-human interface. The format will include a combination of keynote presentations and small group discussions, along with question and answer sessions. The purpose of the conference is to discuss issues in bioethics across disciplines. More than 150 students, faculty members, and health professionals are expected to participate. Conference Coordinator Dr. Dennis Sullivan, professor of biology at Cedarville University, said, "This interdisciplinary conversation is especially important in this era of rapidly-growing advances in biotechnology, because sciences are advancing so quickly that ethical considerations often lag behind. It is human beings who are at stake here. Scientists are good at asking the question, ‘Can we do it?` But someone needs to ask the question, ‘Should we do it?`" The conference`s keynote speaker will be Christopher Hook, M.D., director of ethics education for the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. He also serves the Mayo Medical School as a consultant in the division of hematology and internal medicine and as assistant professor of medicine. Hook created the Mayo Medical Center Ethics Consultation Service, the Reproductive Medicine Advisory Board, the DNA Research Committee, and the Mayo Clinical Ethics Council. He is a fellow of the International Advisory Board of The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity. His work in the area of the ethics of genetic research led to an invitation to testify before the National Bioethics Advisory Commission in 1998. The public is invited to the October 30 conference activities, which will include a chapel address titled "A Posthuman Future?" at 10 a.m. in the Jeremiah Chapel of the Dixon Ministry Center. Hook will also speak at 7:30 p.m. in a public session titled "The History of Eugenics and Its Implications for the Genetic Era." This presentation will be held in the Dixon Ministry Center`s Recital Hall. For more information on bioethics or the conference, visit the conference Web site at www.cedarville.edu/bioethics. Located in Cedarville, Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited Baptist university of arts, sciences, professional, and graduate programs. Offering 100 areas of study to approximately 3,000 students, the University features an award-winning campus computer network and a worldwide Christian ministries program. Visit the University Web site at www.cedarville.edu. -30-