Ethics Updates


Ethics at the Frontiers of Science

Ethics at the Frontiers of Science

Ethical issues raised by cutting-edge developments in science, especially in the areas of stem cell research and therapy, neurosciences, and computing technology and robotics. Topics include memory enhancement and erasure, brain and self and freedom and responsibility, the distinction between therapy and enhancement, life span extension, from smart drugs to smart brains, the promises and perils of stem cell research, egg and embryo donation, designer babies, robotic ethics, cyborgs, search engine ethics, the Web and the ownership and distribution of knowledge. -- View the current course page.

Videos 2008

Guest Speaker

Date:   Febuary 18, 2008

  • Speaker: Mary Devereaux

    • UCSD Research Ethics Program
    • Stem Cell Consortium

Dr. Devereaux holds a Ph.D. in philosophy. A specialist in bioethics and aesthetics, she is a member of the Research Ethics Program at UC San Diego and Director of: Biomedical Ethics Seminar.

Professor Devereaux’s current research focuses on issues of medical enhancement such as cosmetic surgery, gene therapy, and psychopharmacology and how increasing patient demands for these services affect the definition and professional norms of medicine. Prof. Devereaux serves on the Human Subjects Committee IRB at The Burnham Institute and belongs to The American Philosophical Association, the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, The Association for Women in Science and the American Society for Aesthetics.

Guest Speaker

Date:   March 3, 2008

  • Speaker: Larry Goldstein. MD

    • Professor of Cellular an Molecular Medicine,
      University of California San Diego School of Medicine.
    • Investigator,Howard Hughes Medical Institute,

"Dr. Goldstein is a nationally recognized researcher who studies the mechanisms of function of neurons in the brain and how this relates to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and ALS.. ..."
...more Speaker information

Videos 2007

Guest Speaker

Date:   March 12, 2007

  • Speaker: Dr. Floyd E. Bloom

    • Member, President's Council on Bioethics
    • Chairman of the Department of Neuropharmacology
    • Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla

Dr. Floyd E. Bloom is a past chairman of AAAS, former editor-in-chief of the journal Science and chairman of the Department of Neuropharmacology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. He is also a member of the President's Council on Bioethics ( A member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1977, he is the recipient of numerous prizes for his contributions to science, including the Janssen Award in the Basic Sciences and the Pasarow Award in Neuropsychiatry. He has also been named a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and a member of the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bloom's more than 600 publications include the seminal work, The Biochemical Basis of Neuropharmacology and The Dana Guide to Brain Health. In an important call-to-arms for healing the U.S. health care system, published 13 June in Science and based on his Presidential Lecture at the 2003 AAAS Annual Meeting, he describes how events of the 20th century have produced a system that cannot incorporate or implement new knowledge for the diagnosis or treatment of disease. Bloom earned his B.A. from Southern Methodist University and his M.D. from the Washington University School of Medicine.

Guest Speaker

Date:   April 23, 2007

  • Speaker: Pam Dixon

    • Executive Director, World Privacy Forum.

The incredibly rapid growth of computer power has made information storage and retrieval much easier. In this class meeting, we will examine several computer-related challenges to privacy in the internet age.

Guest Speaker

Date:   Feburary 12, 2007

  • Speaker: Michael Kalichman

    • Director, Center for Ethics in Science and Technology
      University of California San Diego

A presentation on Stem Cell regulation and the alternative sources of Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Guest Speaker

Date:   Feburary 19, 2007

  • Speaker: Evan Snyder

    • Program Director, Professor
      Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
      Burnham Institute

A presentation on the "Promise and Perils" of stem cell research