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Academic Conferences

Ethics of Biotechnology:

Viewing New Creations with Anabaptist Eyes

This conference was held November 13-15, 2003, and focused on:

  • The fundamental biological basis of genetic research with its prospective promises and perils.
  • The process of clarifying bioethical dilemmas through deliberation, evaluation of alternatives, and insights of others.
  • Understanding the complexity of bioethical dilemmas by seeing how varied disciplines highlight different dimensions of the issues.
  • Articulating foundational Christian and Anabaptist values that influence bioethical decision-making.


Thursday, November 13, 2003

Biotechnology: Genetic Modifications I

  • Keynote #1: “The New Genetics: Stem Cell Research and Cloning” by Dr. John Gearhart, professor of gynecology and obstetrics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • Case Study #1: Biomedical Issues – Dr. Thomas Huff, Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, Vice Provost, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA

Friday, November 14

Biotechnology: Genetic Modifications II

  • Keynote #2: “Human Genetic Therapies & Manipulations” by Dr. Leslie G. Biesecker, senior investigator at National Human Genome Research Institute, Bethesda, MD
  • Keynote #3: “Genetically Modified Plants and Organisms” by Dr. Carole Cramer, professor of plant pathology and physiology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Biotechnology: Varied Insights I

  • Keynote #4: “Anabaptist Insights on Biotechnology” by Dr. Conrad Brunk, professor of philosophy, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Keynote #5: “Ethical Issues in Biotechnology” by Dr. LeRoy Walters, professor of Christian ethics, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Biotechnology: Varied Insights II

  • Keynote #6: “Cultural and Justice Issues in Biotechnology” by Dr. Ruth Schwartz Cowan, professor of history and sociology of science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • Panel Presentation: “Viewing Biotechnology through Discipline Lenses”
    • History – Dr. Carl Bowman, Bridgewater, VA
    • Literature – Barbra Graber, Harrisonburg, VA
    • Legal/Public Policy – Dr. Laura Powers, Alexandria, VA
    • Nursing – Dr. Arlene Wiens, Harrisonburg, VA
    • Business/Economics – Mike Baker, Lebanon, OR
    • Agriculture – Dr. Carole Cramer, Blacksburg, VA
  • Case Study #2: Biotechnology Agricultural Issues – Dr. Emerson Nafziger, Dept of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois
  • Drama: “Creation Chronicles” by Ted & Lee Theater Works, Harrisonburg, VA

Saturday, November 15

Clearing Vision: Anabaptist Synthesis

  • Panel Presentation: “Treading through Promises and Perils: Anabaptist & Personal Reflections on Biotechnology”
    • Sociology – Dr. Lawrence Ressler, Rochester, NY
    • Health Care – Dr. Randy Longenecker, Bellefontaine, OH
    • Agriculture – Dr. Emerson Nafziger, Urbana, IL
    • Public Policy – Timothy Jost, Harrisonburg, VA
    • Ethics – Dr. Graydon Snyder, Chicago, IL
    • Pastoral Care – Dr. Joe Kotva, Elkart, IN
  • Personal Stories: Impact of Biotechnology & Genetic Manipulation – Sharon Terry, President, Genetic Alliance Board of Directors, Washington, D.C.
  • Keynote #7: “Anabaptist Eyes on Biotechnology: A Response” by Dr. Stanley Hauerwas, professor of theological ethics, Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC

Post-Conference Symposium

  • Health Care Ethics and Theology – George Stoltzfus & Joe Kotva, Convenors, Anabaptist Center for Health Care Ethics