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Genetic Crossroads
August 20th, 2003

Event: "The Face of the Future: Technosapiens?"
Oakland, CA (Sept. 19-20)

This event brings together diverse speakers with divergent
views about how we should confront the "technologies of
the day after tomorrow" that are being developed today.
Jointly sponsored by the Center for Bioethics and Culture and
the Council for Biotechnology Policy. CGS Executive Director
Richard Hayes is among the speakers.


Event: Gene(sis): Contemporary Art Explores Human Genomics,
Seattle (through Aug. 25), Berkeley, CA (Aug. 27 - Dec. 7),
Minneapolis (Jan. 25 - May 2)

Gene(sis) is a traveling exhibition that showcases new
artwork created in response to recent developments in human


Among the public events scheduled in Berkeley are:

  • Panel including Iain Boal and Ignacio Chapela (Sept. 14,
    3-5 pm)
  • Lecture by Charles Weiner: "Genetic Engineering: Who
    Draws the Line?" (Sept. 28, 2 pm)
  • Lecture by Evelyn Fox Keller: "Genes, Texts, and Tropes:
    A Space Between Fiction and Fact " (October 12, 3 pm)

  • Lecture by Paul Rabinow: "A Machine to Make the Future:
    An Anthropologist in the World of Biotechnology," with
    moderator Paul Billings (Oct 26, 3 pm)
  • Lecture by Troy Duster: "Race and Genomics: Burgeoning
    Social 'Side-effects' of the Revolution in Human Molecular
    Biology," with moderator Richard Strohman (Nov. 23, 3

Testimony: Remarks of Professor Tony Platt to the California
Senate Judiciary Committee on the history of eugenics in California
(June 24, 2003)

This testimony by Platt, an emeritus professor of social work
at California State University Sacramento, was given just before
the Senate passed a resolution that "expresses profound
regret over the state's past role in the eugenics movement."


Book: Daniel Callahan, What Price Better Health?: Hazards
of the Research Imperative
(Berkeley: University of California
Press, available in October)

The idea that we have an unlimited moral imperative to pursue
medical research is deeply rooted in American society and medicine.
Daniel Callahan, a founder of the Hastings Institute, exposes
the ways in which such a seemingly high and humane ideal can
be corrupted and distorted into a harmful practice.


Book: Stephen S. Hall, Merchants of Immortality: Chasing
the Dream of Human Life Extension
(Houghton Mifflin: Boston,

In a review in The Washington Post, Shannon Brownlee
calls Merchants of Immortality "a highly readable
and important book." However, she comments, "It seems
that Hall sides with biologists like [Michael] West" who
"believes it is his mission to find the means to extend
life, and nothing, including ethics or legislation, is going
to get in his way." For the complete review, see http://www.newamerica.net/index.cfm?pg=article&pubID=1290



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