[CUA Office of Public Affairs]   


Sept. 21, 2004


CUA Columbus School of Law Conference Explores Stem Cell Research

Dialogue Will Examine Stem Cell Debate in the United States and Germany


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Limitless medical miracle or callous assault on human life? Stem cell research has been passionately characterized both ways, and its recent emergence as a hot button political issue shows few signs of abating.


In a colloquium that promises to move past recent political posturing to a dialogue of reasoned scientific, moral and theological inquiry, the Law, Philosophy & Culture Initiative of the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America, with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, is co-sponsoring “Ethics, Public Policy and Law: The Stem Cell Debate in the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Germany.” The event will be held Oct. 4-5, 2004, at the Catholic University campus, located at 620 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington, D.C. 


Most forms of embryonic stem cell research are prohibited in Germany, where lawmakers from that country’s distinct legal and ethical culture have approached the stem cell question differently than their American counterparts. The evolution of the debate within Germany will be contrasted and compared to America’s framing of the moral and ethical questions involved.


More than 40 of the world’s leading thinkers and lecturers on stem cell research will gather for the two-day discussion. Colloquium speakers include stem cell scientists, bioethicists, moral theologians, legal scholars and governmental officials. 


Speakers represent such institutions as the University of Bonn, Boston University, University of Chicago, Franciscan University of Steubenville, University of Göttingen, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, the University of Toronto and the University of Tübingen.  Participants from  governmental organizations include two members of the German Parliament, a member of the United States Senate, a member of the United States House of Representatives, a senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health and a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics.  For a complete list of speakers and the full agenda, please log on to http://law.cua.edu/news/conference/stemcells/.


The colloquium, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center Great Room located at the center of campus (for directions, visit: http://www.cua.edu/directions/).  The university is located immediately adjacent to the

CUA/Brookland Red line Metrorail stop.  Free parking will be available in the garage next to the university’s Columbus School of Law building. 


For additional information, contact Professor William J. Wagner, director of the Law, Philosophy & Culture Initiative and chief organizer of the colloquium, at 202-319-6123 or by e-mail at: wagner@law.edu.


The Law, Philosophy & Culture Initiative of the Columbus School of Law aims to contribute to thef ields of jurisprudence, the philosophy of law and Christian political and social ethics by advancing theoretical understandings of the relation of law to human culture and the human good. It seeks to foster the renewal and transformation of culture, through practical insight into the relation of law and legal institutions, to the human good under contemporary circumstances. Through its work, the initiative coordinates academic cooperation between law scholars and such adjunct disciplines as philosophy, theology, history, literature, the arts and politics.


MEDIA: Those wishing to attend or cover the conference should contact Tom Haederle,

director of the Office of Public Affairs for the Columbus School of Law, at 202-

319-5438 or by e-mail at: haederle@law.edu.





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Revised: 9/27/2004

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The Catholic University of America,
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