Sunday, March 27, 2011

Paul Root Wolpe - Time to Question Bio-Engineering

The speaker, Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D. is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics, the Raymond F. Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics, a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Sociology, and the Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University. Dr. Wolpe also serves as the first bioethicist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where he is responsible for formulating policy on bioethical issues and safeguarding research subjects. He is Co-Editor of the American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB), the premier scholarly journal in bioethics, and Editor of AJOB Neuroscience, and sits on the editorial boards of over a dozen professional journals in medicine and ethics. Dr Wolpe is a past President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities; a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the country’s oldest medical society; a Fellow of the Hastings Center, the oldest bioethics institute in America; and is the first National Bioethics Advisor to Planned Parenthood Association of America.

These are impressive credentials - taken from Wolpe's bio page at the Emory Center for Ethics ( and the talk is lively, informative, and troubling. But the ethical questioning comes only in the last two minutes and does not amount to much.

For more serious discussion of the issues with regard to human beings, see the slim but important volumes by Michael J. Sandel, The Case Against Perfection, and Juergen Habermas, The Future of Human Nature.

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