9 episodes

The McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Cultures brings in distinguished scholars and thought leaders to discuss issues at the intersection of science and ethics or science and religion. Also see related series on the "Biological Foundations of Morality" and "In Our Lifetimes: Environmental Change and Stewardship."

Science and Ethics College of the Holy Cross

    • Science

The McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Cultures brings in distinguished scholars and thought leaders to discuss issues at the intersection of science and ethics or science and religion. Also see related series on the "Biological Foundations of Morality" and "In Our Lifetimes: Environmental Change and Stewardship."

    • video
    Joshua Greene "Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them"

    Joshua Greene "Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them"

    Joshua Greene, the John and Ruth Hazel Associate Professor of the Social Sciences and director of the Moral Cognition Lab at Harvard University, explains the underlying causes of modern conflict, and illustrates what happens when the brain makes fast, instinctive moral judgments versus slow, reasoned decisions. He introduces the idea of metamorality, a moral system that can adjudicate among competing tribal moralities. Finally, he suggests that a common currency for solving problems between us and them is to used a reasoned mode of morality and maximize happiness impartially.

    • 1 hr 14 min
    • video
    Philip Kitcher, "The Scientist's Role"

    Philip Kitcher, "The Scientist's Role"

    Philip Kitcher, the John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, explores the scientist's role in a democratic society and considers four ethical questions: What responsibilities do scientists have to answer to the needs and aspirations of a broader public? How can scientific expertise be integrated with democratic ideals? Are value judgments inescapable in science? And is the private funding of scientific research a threat to the proper functioning of science?

    • 1 hr 22 min
    • video
    Mark Murcko "The Quest for Health: Hunting for Drugs in Large Pharmas and Tiny Biotechs"

    Mark Murcko "The Quest for Health: Hunting for Drugs in Large Pharmas and Tiny Biotechs"

    Mark Murcko, a founding officer at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, lays out the challenges and benefits inherent in the field of drug discovery. He identifies the type of behaviors and company culture that result in more success and debunks common myths about the pharmaceutical industry.

    • video
    Richard Murphy '66 "The Changing Face of Biomedical Research, Challenges and Opportunities"

    Richard Murphy '66 "The Changing Face of Biomedical Research, Challenges and Opportunities"

    Richard Murphy '66 is retired president and CEO of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and former interim president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. He talks about how the practice of science has changed over the last 50 years, leading to new three revolutions in biomedical science, the emergence of new multidisciplinary fields, and a transition to big science. He also addresses the importance of investing in science and how government funding and pharmaceutical support are limited. The lecture is one in a yearlong series to explore "The Practice of Science in a World of Competing Values."

    • video
    James J. Collins '87 "Synthetic Biology and Redesigning Life: Hopes and Challenges"

    James J. Collins '87 "Synthetic Biology and Redesigning Life: Hopes and Challenges"

    Holy Cross alumnus James J. Collins '87 is a founder of the emerging field of synthetic biology, which combines science and engineering to construct biological circuits that can program organisms, much like we program computers now. He is William F. Warren Distinguished Professor, University Professor, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University, where he also directs the Center of Synthetic Biology. In this talk, Collins traces the short history of synthetic biology, what they've been able to achieve, and opportunity that lies ahead. He also addresses the practice of science, ethical considerations, public opinion, and the growing trend of DIY biology. The lecture is the first in a yearlong series to explore "The Practice of Science in a World of Competing Values."

    • video
    Martin Nowak "God and Evolution"

    Martin Nowak "God and Evolution"

    Professor of biology and of mathematics at Harvard University, Martin Nowak also directs Harvard's Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. In this talk, Nowak shares his groundbreaking work on the role of cooperation in evolution and his theological argument that the tension between science and religion is unnecessary.

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