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2003 Bernard Rothenberg Lecture
in Biology and Public Policy

Ian Bowles
"The Global Biodiversity Treaty: Why is the United States Not a Party?"
November 10, 2003
4 p.m., Ely Room, Wyndham

Ian Bowles is executive director of the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC). The Boston-based, non-partisan think tank advocates policies promoting the growth and vitality of the middle class in Massachusetts.

Previously, he was a Senior Research Fellow with the Environment and Natural Resources Program and the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at the Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He has also been a Senior Advisor and Environment Program Director for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Until 2001, he served concurrently as Senior Director of Environmental Affairs at the National Security Council and as Associate Director for the Global Environment at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

 

Previous Speakers

2002: Shirley M. Tilghman, president of Princeton University, presented the College’s 2002 Bernard Rothenberg Lecture in Biology and Public Policy on Nov. 12. Her lecture was titled "Perspectives on the Stem Cell Debate."


Tilghman was a founding member of the National Advisory Council of the Human Genome Project Initiative for the National Institutes of Health. A world-renowned molecular biologist, Tilghman has conducted pioneering research in mammalian genetics, focusing on the roles that genes play in the development of the mammalian embryo. As a postdoctoral fellow at NIH, she participated in cloning the first mammalian gene. Tilghman is also a national leader in the efforts to promote women in science and to encourage the early careers of young scientists.

2001:

Gina Kolata,
Author
and New York Times Science and Medicine Reporter
,
speaks on "Finding an Interesting Story Among the Mundane:
A Journalist's View of Reporting on Science and Medicine"

 


2000: Carnegie Institution President Maxine F. Singer addressed an audience of Bryn Mawr science faculty and students on “The Public and Biology: Catching Up.” Singer is one of the nation’s most prominent research scientists in biochemistry and molecular biology. A pioneer in recombinant genetics, she received the National Medal of Science in 1992 for her outstanding scientific accomplishments and her deep concern for the societal responsibility of the scientist. Singer is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, scientist emeritus at the National Institutes of Health, former director of the Whitehead Institute and former chair of the editorial board of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Singer addressed the importance of closing the gap between scientific advances in biological research and the public’s understanding of these advances. She discussed two recent examples of public misperceptions about biological research. One was the prohibition last year by Kansas’ public school board against teaching evolution. The other is the increasing trend to ban genetically modified crops and produce from farm fields and stores. In both cases, Singer says, public policy was influenced more by sensational media and impassioned politicians than by objective science.

Singer observed that scientific progress can have profound benefits — agricultural, medical, economic or purely intellectual — that change society for the better, which the public tends to welcome and support. But unless researchers and educators do a better job of increasing public understanding of science, the societal changes spurred by scientific progress will tend to lead to apprehension and resistance.

1998:

Dr. Arthur Caplan,
Director of the Center for Bioethics
at the University of Pennsylvania
,
speaks on "Septuplets, Conception After Death and Cloning -- Are These Any Way to Make a Baby?"

 

1997:

Dr. Joshua Lederberg,
Nobel Laureate and Sackler Foundation Scholar,
The Rockefeller University
,
speaks on "The Future of Infectious Disease."

 

 

1994:

Donald Kennedy,
President Emeritus of Stanford University,
former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and
Bing Professor of Environmental Science at Stanford.




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