September 22, 2008

Bioethics Seminar to examine animal-related issues

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Bioethics Seminar series will feature two public talks and two seminars this fall at Purdue University.

The series, Ethics and Science: Bringing an Ethical Dimension to Your Scientific Research, is encouraging interdisciplinary discussion about research issues related to emerging biotechnologies and animal ethics, says Mark Bernstein, the Joyce and Edward Brewer Chair in Applied Ethics who is working with graduate student series organizers.

The series is composed of two components: the Bioethics Lecture Series, which is free and open to the public, and the Ethics and Science series, which is open to Purdue faculty, staff and students.

The first seminar's topic is Genetically Altered Food Animals. Paul Thompson, W.K. Kellogg Chair in Agricultural, Food and Community Ethics at Michigan State University, will present "The Opposite of Human Enhancement: Nanotechnology and the Blind Chicken Problem" from 5:30-7 p.m. on Oct. 1 at Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 121. This talk is free and open to the public.

In addition, Thompson will lead a seminar on recent research regarding "Ethics on the Frontiers of Livestock Science" from noon to 1 p.m. This seminar is open to Purdue faculty, staff and students and online registration is required at

The Use of Animals for Research: Animal Ethics Panel is the second seminar and is from 5:30-7 p.m. on Nov. 4 at the Burton Morgan Center, Room 121. Panel members are Bernard Rollin, University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University, and Purdue's Bernstein. This talk is free and open to the public.

The third seminar's topic is Ethical Considerations for the Therapeutic Use of Animals. Alan Beck, director of Purdue's Center for the Human-Animal Bond, will lead an ethics and science seminar at noon on Nov. 11 at the Burton Morgan Center, Room 129. Purdue faculty, staff and students can attend this talk, and registration is required at

The series is organized by graduate students Jonathan Beever and Nicolae Morar and is supported by Purdue's Graduate School. Other sponsors include Discovery Park's Bindley Bioscience Center and Birck Nanotechnology Center, the Department of Philosophy, the College of Liberal Arts, Office of the Vice President for Research, the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, the Discovery Lecture Series and the Brewer Chair in Applied Ethics.

As part of the series, Beever and Morar are managing an informational Web site and blog at

A spring series focusing on biomedical engineering, biofuels and animal ethics also will be announced next semester.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, (765) 494-9723,

Sources: Mark Bernstein, (765) 494-4295,

Jonathan Beever,

Nicolae Morar,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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