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Exploring Ethics

In conjunction with the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center welcomes guests to encounter science from an ethical viewpoint. Held on select Wednesdays, from October through June, this ongoing series brings together community leaders of various backgrounds to examine current scientific issues from diverse perspectives. Bring your own questions and join in the discussion!

 

Select events are held 5:307PM in the William & Grayson Boehm Community Forum at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. Please see the full list of topics and locations listed below and refer to The Center for Ethics website for more information.

The program is free but registration is required.

To RSVP: Click on the links below for each program

For more information: call (858) 822-2647 or send an email to ethicscenter@ucsd.edu with the following information:

  • Date & topic
  • Name
  • Phone number & email address
  • Indicate if you would like to be added to the Ethics Center mailing list
 

Upcoming Topics

April 2, 2014 - 5:30 p.m.

Communicating through the Cancer Journey: Can We Talk?

Talking about cancer is difficult for all involved, whether it is the person with cancer, their family or their health care providers. Dr. Wayne Beach will open this program with real-world examples relevant to the questions of how communication occurs among patients, family members, and providers, what concerns are raised, and how they are responded to, in the context of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Held at Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine.

Click here to register for April 2.

 

May 14, 2014 - 5:30 p.m.

Immunotherapy: A Promising New Approach to Treating Cancer

Dr. June will discuss the emergence of immunotherapy as an approach to treat cancer. The approach is less toxic than many previous forms of therapy and when effective, has long term effects that appear to be curative. Carl June, MD, is considered by many to be the most influential academic scientist in the biopharmaceutical industry.  Held at Weiss Theatre of the La Jolla Playhouse.

Click here to register for May 14.


Videos

View videos of past lectures here:

February 25, 2014 - Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies

December 4, 2013 - Winning the War Against Cancer in the Genomics Era

November 7, 2013 - Neuroscience and Video Games

October 2, 2013 - Lessons from a One-Eyed Surgeon

August 7, 2013 - Drones and Other UAVs

June 5, 2013 - Women in Science

April 3, 2013 - Elephants or People?

March 6, 2013 - Global Climate Change and Infectious Disease

February 6, 2013 - Lessons from San Diego's Bees and Bays


Past Topics

April 3

Elephants or People?

Many ethical dilemmas faces those who seek to preserve endangered species, and especially those who wish to preserve them or reintroduce them into their natural habitats. In some cases, it is human beings who have so encroached upon these habitats that the animals being protected or reintroduced—such as elephants, wolves, and tigers—pose a potential threat to crops, livestock, and even humans themselves. In other situations, it is other species introduced into particular habitats by humans that have caused native species to become endangered. In such cases, the only means of successfully reintroducing or maintaining native species is through the complete eradication of the invading species. What are those concerned with the preservation of native species to do in such situations?

 

May 1

Silent Spring and San Diego Students

Students at multiple colleges and universities in the San Diego region were challenged to write essays about their reflections prompted by Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring. Winners of the community-wide competition will be announced and join us in a discussion of a variety of timely and important questions for the San Diego community.

 

June 5

Women in Science

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson's landmark book, Silent Spring. Much has changed in the past 50 years, but questions should be asked now about how far we have come and how far we have to go. To help us navigate thses important issues, we will be joined by Linda Lear, the best known biographer of Rachel Carson.

 

August 7

Drones and Other UAVs: Benefits and Risks

New technologies can raise challenging ethical dilemmas, and drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are no exception. These aircraft may be autonomously operated by onboard computers or directed remotely by a human operator. UAVs are used for many purposes, ranging from crop dusting farmland to military operations. Join our UAV experts as we explore the benefits, perceived concerns, real risks, and public safety.

Special thanks to AUVSI San Diego for in-kind support of this program.

 

October 2

Lessons from a One-Eyed Surgeon

Half a century ago, working out of a small hospital in Uganda, Denis Burkitt brought together investigators from all over the world in his quest to understand the "African lymphoma." Together, they unraveled a cancer mystery that no single researcher would ever have solved on his or her own. In the end, Burkitt and his team not only saved an untold number of young lives, but also taught the world how powerful true scientific collaboration can be. The success of this model raises questions for us today: Are cultural, academic, and institutional barriers slowing the process of medical science? If so, do each of us, in our own way, have an ethical imperative to remove them?

 

November 7

Neuroscience and Video Games 

Video games are increasingly in the news. Rapid advances in brain research are also enabling neuroscientists, in collaboration with game developers, to develop games that contribute to observable educational and therapeutic innovations. While potentially beneficial, it is important to ask about the ethical and social implications associated with the merging of neuroscience with game development and use.

 

December 4

Winning the War Against Cancer in the Genomics Era: Is It About Time? 

Breakthroughs in genomics and targeting therapies have now reached the clinic and will revolutionize the practice of oncology. However, in order to change outcomes in cancer, we can no longer use old paradigms for treating patients and designing clinical trials. In effect, genomics is a disruptive technology because it has unveiled a reality for cancer that makes standard operating procedures obsolete. Yet we continue to retrofit traditional treatments into this new reality. This can and must change if we are to transform the lives of patients with cancer. Dr. Razelle Kurzrock, known for creating the largest Phase 1 clinical trials department in the world, will lead the talk.