Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Science and Politics of Stem Cells: Is There a Way Forward?

Right on the heels of yesterday's announcement of President Obama lifting the ban on stem-cell research comes Socrates in the City's very interesting lecture "The Science and Politics of Stem Cells: Is There a Way Forward?". On March 25 William B. Hurlbutt, M.D., a member of the President's Council on Bioethics, will speak at The University Club (One West 54th Street at Fifth Avenue) at 7 PM. Tickets are between $35 and $75 and available through the SIC website.

President and Founder of Socrates in the City Eric Metaxas says:

On March 25th we will have a front-row seat in the stem-cell debate, with our special guest speaker, William B. Hurlbutt, M.D. Dr. Hurlbutt is a member of the President's Council on Bioethics, and teaches in the Neuroscience Intsitute at Stanford, where he has consistently been named by students as one of the top lecturers at the university. He has also worked with NASA on projects in Astrobiology.

The stem cell debate is at the very heart of some of the "big questions" we examine at Socrates in the City: "What does it mean to be human?" and "When do human beings cross the line into playing God?"

According to Socrates in the City:
Dr. William Hurlbutt is a physician and Consulting Professor at the Neuroscience Institute. After receiving his undergraduate and medical training at Stanford Univeristy, he completed postdoctoral studies in theology and medical ethics, studying with William Hamerton-Kelly, the Dean of the Chapel at Stanford, and subsequently with the Rev. Louis Bouyer of the Institut Catholique de Paris.

His primary areas of interest involve the ethical issues associated with advancing biomedical technology, the biological basis of moral awareness, and studies in the integration of theology and philosophy of biology. He is the author of numerous publications on science and ethics including the co-edited volume Altruism and Altruistic Love: Science, Philosophy, and Religion in Dialogue (2002, Oxford University Press), and "Science, Religion and Human Spirit" in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Science and Religion. He is also a co-chair of two interdisciplinary faculty projects at Stanford University, "Becoming Human: The Evolutionary Origins of Spiritual, Religious, and Moral Awareness," and "Brain, Mind and Emergence."

In addition to teaching at Stanford, he has worked with NASA on projects in Astrobiology and is a member of the Chemical and Biological Warfare working group at the Center for International Security and Cooperation. Since 2002 he has served on the President's Council on Bioethics. He is the author of Altered Nuclear Transfer, a proposed technological solution to the moral controversy over embryonic stem cell research.

For more information on registration, the wine and cheese reception, and the patron's dinner, visit the Socrates in the City website.

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