Lecture: "Reprogenetic Technologies, Philosophy, and the Public"


Location: Montgomery Auditorium, LaFortune Student Center (View on map )

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Speaker: Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Professor of Medical Ethics and Healthcare Policy and Research, Weill Cornell Medical College

Philosophers can contribute to engagement with science and technology in various ways. One such way is by calling attention to what science and technology do. Technologies, for example, are usually designed to achieve certain things. In the case of reprogenetic technologies, their aim is to provide some individuals with offspring who possess or lack particular traits. But technologies—and science—do considerably more than what they are designed to do. They influence our perception of the world and of the entities that inhabit it. They shape our behavior. They mediate our practical options and with them the reasons we have to act. They affect what is valued or the extent to which it is valued. Here I explore some of those other things that reprogenetic technologies do. I focus on some of the ways in which these technologies reinforce and transform certain values by mediating our perceptions of the world and our reasons for action. I discuss, in particular, how they shape our understanding of health, disease, and disability, our normative conceptions of parenting, and the value of the biogenetic family. I also examine the importance of attending to these other things that science and technology can do when evaluating scientific and technological developments.

This is the second of two public keynotes taking place as part of the John J. Reilly Center’s History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Values Graduate Conference. For more information visit: http://sites.nd.edu/hpstv-conference


Sponsored by the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values, in concert with the History and Philosophy of Science Ph.D. and GLOBES certificate programs, Gender Studies Program, Department of PhilosophyScience Policy Initiative, and Sustainability Studies.

For more information or questions about the conference, please email ndhpstv2019@gmail.com.