Symposium to focus on ethical issues in biotechnology

MADISON - Ethical issues in biotechnology are the focus of the second annual International Bioethics Forum in Madison Friday and Saturday, April 25-26. Focusing on medical research and applications, the theme for this year's conference is "Who Decides?"

The two-day event, moderated by R. Alta Charo, professor of law and medical ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will address current controversies in the regulation of human subjects research, innovative reproductive technologies, Canadian perspectives and decisions that may be on the horizon.

Discussion sessions will focus on embryonic stem cells, federal human cloning legislation, integration of race and ethnicity factors into research design, responses to new technologies, reflections from diverse faith perspectives, decision-makers at the Food and Drug Administration, use of cases to facilitate ethics discussions and privacy issues in health care.

In addition to Charo, confirmed speakers include Bill Linton, CEO and chairman, Promega Corp.; Norman Fost, UW-Madison professor of pediatrics; Sean Tipton, director of public affairs, American Society for Reproductive Medicine; Troy Duster, Chancellor's Professor of Sociology and director of the Institute for Social Change at University of California-Berkeley, and professor of sociology at New York University; Dena Davis, professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law; Eric Meslin, director of the Indiana University Center for Bioethics and professor of philosophy; and Rick Weiss, Washington Post science and medical reporter.

The Bioethics Forum will be held at Promega's BioPharmaceutical Technology Center, home to its educational nonprofit arm, the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute.

"Building on what we learned last year at our inaugural forum, we are pleased to once again offer a venue for public discussion of these important topics," says Linton, who also serves as president of the institute's board of

Contact: Karin Borgh
University of Wisconsin-Madison

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