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Short Course No. 10: Ethics on the Frontiers of Science: Religion – Help or Hindrance?

Westminster College: April 11-13, 2008

Deadline for applications: March 28, 2008
Deadline for Bursary applications: February 11, 2008

Aim of Course

This course will examine some of the profound ethical dilemmas which arise out of the practice of science. Examples to be considered include stem cells, genetically modified crops, bionic persons and brain manipulation, euthanasia, and modern warfare. In particular, the question as to whether or how a religious perspective helps in the resolution of the problems raised will be addressed.

Speakers (listed in alphabetical order) and topics

See multimedia items for this course or click on specific talk title in the course schedule to see available resources for that talk.

Click on a speaker's name to obtain brief biographical details.


The course will be held at Westminster College, Madingley Rd, Cambridge, CB3 0AA. Click here to obtain further details about the College.

Westminster College is housed in an impressive late 19th century grade II listed building situated in two acres of gardens within easy walking distance of Cambridge City Centre, the celebrated 'Backs' and other University Colleges. It is located a few hundred metres from St. Edmund's College, the home of the Faraday Institute.

Westminster College is on the main ring road within easy access off the M11 and A14 and has on-site parking. The College is a short taxi ride from the train and bus stations. Airport coach or train from Stansted Airport (the most convenient airport for Cambridge) takes 30-40 minutes. Location map for Westminster College.

Course Schedule

Friday April 11
6.00 pmArrival
6.45 pmDinner
7.45 pmIntroduction
8.00 pmProf. Neil Messer: Christian Moral Reasoning: How Can it Help (and Should it?)
Saturday April 12
8.00 amBreakfast
9.00 amProf. Tim Maughan: Medical Advance and Ethical Issues at the End of Life
10.00 amQuestions and Discussion
10.30 amCoffee Break
11.00 amProf. John Bryant: Genetic Engineering in Health and Disease
12.00 pmQuestions and Discussion
1.00 pmLunch
2.00 pmProf. John Bryant: Stem Cells in Research and in the Clinic
3.00 pmQuestions and Discussion
3.30 pmTea Break
4.00 pmProf. Gareth Jones: The Human Embryo: Reassessing Theological Approaches in the Light of Scientific Advance
5.00 pmQuestions and Discussion
5.30 pmProf. Michael Reiss: Handling Ethical Issues in the Public Domain
6.30 pmQuestions and Discussion
7.00 pmGala Dinner
8.30 pmPanel Discussion with 4 Speakers – Questions and Discussion
Sunday April 13
9.00 amMs Philippa Taylor: Bionic Persons: The Ethics of Enhancing Humans
10.00 amQuestions and Discussion
10.30 amCoffee Break
11.00 amRevd Dr Rodney Holder: Science, Faith and the Battlefield
12.00 pmQuestions and Discussion
1.00 pmLunch
2.00 pmProf. Joe Perry: The Ethics of Food Production and GM Crops
3.30 pmTea Break
4.00 pmDepart