Woods Lectures Begin Sept. 6 with Bioethicist Gregory Pence
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Butler University’s fall 2012 J. James Woods Lectures on the Sciences and Mathematics begin at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 6 with bioethicist Gregory Pence.
All talks in the series begin at 7:30 p.m. and take place in the Atherton Union Reilly Room. They are free and open to the public without tickets. For more information, call (317) 940-9269.
Pence will be followed by Indianapolis Prize winner Steven Amstrup (Oct. 1) and Ronald Mallett discussing time travel (Nov. 1).
More information about each speaker follows.
Ethics of Stem Cell Research
He is nationally and internationally famous for defending cloning and genetically modified food against bio-Luddites and Nay-Sayers, who oppose research on stem cells and cloning. And because of his views, his talks have been picketed by Greenpeace and anti-cloning zealots.
His book Who’s Afraid of Human Cloning? rigorously attacks opponents of cloning. His second book on cloning, Cloning After Dolly: Who’s Still Afraid?, argues for the legalization of artificial wombs and trans-species hybrids. Pence notes that most people’s perception of cloning is based more on science fiction than science, and that anti-cloners draw false or irrelevant distinctions based on questions of human dignity and a religious view of the embryo as a human life. He argues that cloning is actually a biological imperative: we must develop cloning technology to survive the next plague.
Polar Bears and Global Warming: Reliable Predictions and Hope in an Uncertain World
The good news is that prompt action to arrest greenhouse gas rise will preserve sustainable polar bear populations over much of their current range. Even more importantly, acting in time to save polar bears will benefit the rest of life on earth — including humans.
Amstrup is the winner of the 2012 Indianapolis Prize, which is given every other year to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to conservation efforts involving a single animal species or multiple species.
Time Traveler: A Scientist's Personal Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality
But behind the science — which is delivered in clear, captivating language with inspired metaphors (a spoon stirring a glass of water) — lies Mallett's personal story. He touches on the death of his father when he was a boy (which set him on his current path to invent a time machine) and tells us how he overcame poverty and racism to become one of the few African-American Ph.D.s in theoretical physics.
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