Lecture Series at RIT Explores the Ethics and Politics of Biotechnology

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Talks on Oct. 2 and Oct. 23 open to the public

The ethical and political implications of biotechnology will be examined in a new lecture series sponsored by Rochester Institute of Technology’s Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts.

The lecture series, Biotechnology and Our Human Future: A Humanities Perspective will investigate critical questions surrounding human cloning and the goals and limits of biomedical science, among other issues.

The free, public talks will be held from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the Carlson Auditorium on the RIT campus, and will include:

  • “Will Biotechnology Abolish Human Nature?,” by Larry Arnhart, will take place on Thursday, Oct. 2. Arnhart, professor of political science at Northern Illinois University, wrote the acclaimed book, Darwinian Natural Right: The Biological Ethics of Human Nature. He is the associate editor for Ethics and Biotechnology and Bioengineering for The Encyclopedia of Science, Technology and Ethics.
  • “Biotechnology and the American Soul: Or, How the New Biology Will Change Our Understanding of Human Excellence and Human Equality,” by Eric Cohen, will be held on Thursday, Oct. 23. Cohen is the resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., and director of the Biotechnology, Human Nature and American Democracy program. He also serves as senior consultant on the President’s Council on Bioethics.

    Cohen is the editor and founder of The New Atlantis, a quarterly journal on technology, ethics and American society. He also co-edited The Future is Now: America Confronts the New Genetics.

    For more information, contact Sean Sutton at 475-4620 or sdsgsm@rit.edu.

    The College of Liberal Arts, one of eight colleges at RIT, provides the foundation for every RIT student. The College offers studies in anthropology/sociology, philosophy, fine arts, language and literature, history, science/technology/society, and political science and offers bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, economics, social work, psychology, public policy, and professional and technical communication. The college offers master’s degrees in communication and media technology, public policy and school psychology.

    For the past decade, U.S. News and World Report has ranked RIT as one of the nation’s leading comprehensive universities. RIT is also included in Yahoo Internet Life’s Top 100 Wired Universities, Fisk’s Guide to America’s Best Colleges, as well as Barron’s Best Buys in Education.