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Humanities Symposium

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The Viterbo University School of Letters and Sciences presents

Who Owns Nature? Genetics and Ethics at a Crossroads

February 2–4, 2004

There's no doubt that recent scientific and technological advances have opened new pathways in health care and agriculture. But these advances have also raised a number of ethical and moral questions that have put genetics and ethics at a crossroads. Is all of this rapid advance beneficial to humans and our environment or does it dangerously tamper with the very essence of nature? What are the implications of our research? Are we simply advancing our society, or are we playing God? Who really does "own nature"?

Monday, February 2
2:10 p.m. Pre-Symposium Workshop: Genetic Counseling and Treatment Decisions, Beth Pestka, nursing educator, Mayo Clinic
Reinhart Center 107
Tuesday, February 3
8 a.m. Welcome
8:15 a.m. Genetics and Ethics: What You Need to Know First, Fr. Thomas O'Neill, medical ethics, Viterbo University, Ward Jones, Ph.D., biology, Viterbo University
Reinhart Center 127
9:30 a.m. See How They Grow! Organics and Transgenics, Glena Temple, Ph.D., biology, Viterbo University
Reinhart Center 127
10 a.m. The State of Agriculture in Western Wisconsin, Stephen Rischette, UW- Extension agent, La Crosse County
Reinhart Center 127
10:30 a.m Agricultural Biotechnology: Seeds of the Future; A Path from the Past, Ross Hakes, Monsanto Corporation
Reinhart Center 127
11 a.m. The Growth of Organic Farming, Jerry McGeorge, Coulee Region Organic Produce Pool (CROPP)
Reinhart Center 127
12 p.m. Free Soup Luncheon
Reinhart Center 107
1:00-2:30 p.m. Discussion and Q&A
Panelists: Glena Temple, Ph.D., biology, Viterbo University; Stephen Rischette, UW-Extension agent, La Crosse County; Ross Hakes, Monsanto Corporation; Jerry McGeorge, Coulee Region Organic Produce Pool (CROPP)
Reinhart Center 107
7:30 p.m. Genetically Engineered Plants: Worth the Risk? Sujatha Byravan, Ph.D., executive director, Council for Responsible Genetics
Fine Arts Center Main Theatre
Wednesday, February 4
9 a.m. Welcome and Introductions, William Reese, Th.D., religious studies
Reinhart Center 127
9:15 a.m. The Future of Genetic Medicine, Michael Caldwell, M.D., surgeon/genetics researcher, Marshfield Clinic
Reinhart Center 127
10 a.m. Genetic Counseling, Janet Williams, certified genetics counselor, Gundersen Lutheran
Reinhart Center 127
10:45 a.m. Human Cloning: An Ethical Divide, Bud Hammes, medical ethicist, Gundersen Lutheran
Reinhart Center 127
12 p.m. Free Soup Luncheon
Reinhart Center 107
1 p.m. Panel Discussion and Q&A
Michael Caldwell, M.D., surgeon/genetics researcher, Marshfield Clinic; Janet Williams, certified genetics counselor, Gundersen Lutheran; Bud Hammes, medical ethicist, Gundersen Lutheran
Reinhart Center 107
7:30 p.m. Who Owns Nature? Biotechnology, Ethics, and Theology, Fr. Kevin Fitzgerald, S.J., Ph.D., molecular biologist/medical ethicist, Georgetown University
Fine Arts Center Main Theatre
11:00 a.m. The Growth of Organic Farming, Jerry McGeorge, Coulee Region Organic Produce Pool (CROPP)
Reinhart Center 127


This Humanities Symposium is funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. It is also supported by Denzer Memorial Endowment Funds.

All events are free and open to the public. Registration is not required. If you have questions, contact Mary Hassinger, dean, School of Letters and

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