The 16th Annual Dick Smyser Community Lecture Series on Thursday, Oct. 3, will feature Professor Jane Maienschein, director of the Center for Biology and Society at Arizona State University.
She will give a talk titled “Embryos Under the Microscope: Negotiating Contested Ground Between Science and Society.”
The event is sponsored by Friends of ORNL. It is free of charge and will be held at the American Museum of Science and Energy at 300 S. Tulane Ave. in Oak Ridge.
A reception for the speaker starts at 5:30 p.m. (snacks will be served) in the museum lobby, and her lecture starts at 6:30 p.m. This talk should be of interest to the general public, a press release said.
Here is more information from the press release:
This talk will draw on the author’s study of history and philosophy of developmental biology. She shows that understanding the history of ideas about embryos helps us understand why there are such debates today about issues like whether to carry out stem cell research or whether fetuses feel pain. Science gives us a fact of the matter, but does not tell us what policy should be. Yet Maienschein argues that at the very least in a secular society, our public policy should at the very least be consistent with our scientific knowledge.
Maienschein’s perspective on the troubled ground between science and society grows out of her education in the Oak Ridge public schools, where science held a central place and teachers also engaged in discussions about the implications of the science. Jane Maienschein was born and raised in Oak Ridge, before going to MIT and then Yale University for her undergraduate studies, and then to Indiana University for her Ph.D. Since 1981, she has been at Arizona State University, where she is now Regents’ Professor, President’s Professor, and Parents Association Professor and Director of the Center for Biology and Society. She is also an Adjunct Scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. She is the daughter of Fred Maienschein, former Division Director at ORNL, and Joyce Maienschein, former Girl Scout leader and organizer in Oak Ridge (and now in Phoenix, Arizona).
The Friends of ORNL (FORNL) is an organization formed to facilitate and maintain a beneficial association of those who have an interest in ORNL (Oak Ridge National Laboratory). FORNL provides a mechanism for members to keep in touch with co-workers, retirees, and current ORNL activities by providing the community at large with presentations and events.