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Lecture addresses MLK, torture, politics and journalism

Jan. 11, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Dr. Martin Luther King and social justice movements, civility in politics, torture and ethical questions in science are just some of the topics to be tackled in programs sponsored by the Western Michigan University Center for the Study of Ethics in Society during the spring semester.

The series begins with a panel discussion at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, in Room 210 of the Bernhard Center. Titled "Religion, Activism and Politics: From MLK to Now," the discussion will be led by WMU graduate students David Charlton, who is studying comparative religion, and Ryan Pflum and Jeremy Green, who are both studying philosophy.

Those attending will be invited to explore the history and nature of the relationship between religion and social justice movements. Panelists will explore what is the proper place for religion in social justice, whether such movements require religious ties and what boundaries, if any, are there regarding the interaction between religion and movements for justice. These and other questions will be examined as community members look back at King's work and at contemporary justice movements.

The WMU Center for the Study in Ethics in Society encourages and supports research, teaching and service to the University and community in areas of applied and professional ethics. Those areas include, but are not restricted to: business, education, engineering, government, health and human services, law, media, medicine, science and technology.

All ethics center programs are free and open to the public. Other dates for this semester's programs, along with the speakers, their topics, and times and locations of their presentations are:

Jan. 30, WMU President Dr. John M. Dunn, "Ethical Challenges Confronting Higher Education" 7:30 p.m., Putney Auditorium of the Fetzer Center.

Feb. 7, Dr. Sandra Borden, WMU associate professor of communication and ethics center co-director, "The Moral Justification for Journalism," 4 p.m., Room 105 of the Bernhard Center.

Feb. 13, Dr. Fritz Allhoff, WMU assistant professor of philosophy, "Torture and Ticking Time-Bombs: Empirical Research on Moral Judgments," 7:30 p.m., Room 105 of the Bernhard Center.

March 19, panel discussion, "Civility in the Political Arena," Gordon Bolar, WMUK-FM development director, moderator, 7:30 p.m., Room 105 of the Bernhard Center.

March 27, Dr. Adrienne Asch, director, Center for Ethics, Yeshiva University, "Ethics and Science: Some Lessons from Bioethics," 5 p.m., Putney Auditorium, Fetzer Center.

April 2, panel discussion, "Science, Ethics and Politics: Are They Compatible?" Shirley Bach, associate director, WMU Ethics Center, moderator; Dr. Paul Pancella, chair, WMU Department of Physics, Bill Krasean, former science editor, Kalamazoo Gazette, Dr. Stephen Malcolm, WMU professor of biological sciences, panelists, 7 p.m., Room 210 of the Bernhard Center.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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