In This Section

Noted ethicist to speak on bioethics at annual Coastal Carolina University lecture

April 8, 2009

"Reshaping Humans: The Ethics of Biotechnology" will be the topic of a talk by noted scholar Erik Parens of the Hastings Center at 4:30 p.m. April 23 in the Wall Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Parens is the 2009 Visiting Ethicist for the University's Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Value. Each year, the center invites a distinguished ethicist to give a public lecture. This year's discussion will delve into the controversial debate over reshaping the body and mind through biotechnologies.

"If we consider the insights on both sides more carefully, we will conclude that none of us is, or should be, comfortable on only one side of the debate," said Parens.

As a senior research scholar at the prestigious Hastings Center, a nonpartisan bioethics research institute based in New York, Parens is currently investigating how the use of new technologies in changing society and how emerging science shapes self-understanding. Parens is also exploring the use of psychotropic medications to treat emotional and behavioral disturbances in children.

Parens has published four books including "Enhancing Human Traits: Ethical and Social Implications," "Prenatal Testing and Disability Rights," "Wrestling with Behavioral Genetics: Science, Ethics, and Public Conversation" and "Surgically Shaping Children: Essays on Technology, Ethics, and the Pursuit of Normality." The book "Surgically Shaping Children" will be available for sale following the lecture.

He earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. He has served on the National Bioethics Advisory Commission and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he is also a visiting professor at Sarah Lawrence College.

The Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values, founded in 2004, was created to spread awareness of the importance of personal and professional integrity throughout the Coastal Carolina University community. The Jackson Center sponsors four cornerstone programs: Jackson Scholars, Jackson Junior Scholars, Jackson Visiting Ethicists and the Jackson Resource Center. The Jackson Center also sponsors community events including "Tea and Ethics" and "Coffee and Ethics" seminars.

For more information, contact Claudia McCollough, director of the Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values, at 843-349-2440.