WMU News

Human radiation experiments, biotechnology focus of lectures

March 16, 1999

KALAMAZOO-- The ethical dilemmas surrounding U.S. human radiation experiments and genetic engineering of agricultural crops will be discussed in separate lectures March 24 and 26 at Western Michigan University.

Dr. Paul Thompson, the Joyce and Edward E. Brewer Chair in Applied Ethics at Purdue University, address the moral issues provoked by genetic engineering of food crops in his lecture "The Environmental Ethics Case for Crop Biotechnology" at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 24, in the Brown and Gold Room on the second floor of the Bernhard Center.

Thompson, who is also a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Purdue, specializes in the areas of agriculture policy and ethics and biotechnology. He has authored or edited several books including "Agricultural Ethics: Research, Teaching and Public Policy," "Food Biotechnology in Ethical Perspective," and "The Spirit of the Soil: Agriculture and Environmental Ethics." He has published more than 50 research papers on ethical issues associated with genetic technology.

The question of whether U.S. human radiation experiments on prisoners in Oregon and Washington constitute a state crime will be explored by Dr. David Kauzlarich, assistant professor of sociology at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, at 3:30 p.m., Friday, March 26, in Room 204 of the Bernhard Center.

Kauzlarich, whose talk is titled "U.S. Human Radiation Experiments: Prisoners, Plutonium and the Organization of State Crime," is the co-author of "Crimes of the Nuclear State: At Home and Abroad." His research has focused on state and governmental crime, U.S. nuclear weapons policy and sociological and criminological theory. He earned his master's and doctor degrees in sociology from WMU and is the former director of criminal justice programs at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia.

Presented by the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society, both lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society at (616) 387-4397.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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