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Christian Values in Science and Technology

by Hessel Bouma , May 2, 2006

“Embedding Christian Values in Science and Technology” will take place at Calvin July 28-31, 2006 as the 61st annual meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA).

It will touch on society’s hot-button issues vis a vis the intersections of faith and science, claims program chair, Hessel Bouma III, Calvin professor of biology.

“We’ll be looking at everything from the ethics of human stem cells to evolution and how life began to the proper role of biotechnology in growing our food,” says Bouma, whose expertise is medical ethics.  “These are the issues that are the fodder for the nation’s biggest and best newspapers, for the country’s broadcast networks and for a growing number of blogs and websites that examine science and religion.”

Bouma says that the ASA, and its counterpart the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation, are the premier organizations of Christian scientists, theologians, philosophers and historians interested in the intersections and interactions between science and the Christian faith in North America.

“As such,” he says, “our annual meeting is always a place for people to come together and talk about the important scientific and technological issues of the day.” Among the keynote speakers will be U.S. Congressman Vern Ehlers, a former professor of physics at Calvin.

Other confirmed speakers include: Celia Deane-Drummond from the University of Chester in the U.K., Rudolf Jaenisch of the Whitehead Institute at MIT; Karen Lebacqz of the Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics; and Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health.

In addition, William Hurlbut, the physician on the President’s Council on Bioethics and a long-time member of ASA, will be part of the symposium on human stem cells. Hurlbut has been proposing and promoting an idea to produce stem cells from damaged eggs that lack the potential to become healthy embryos, fetuses and newborns. Already MIT’s Jaenisch has taken the idea and shown it could work in animal models.

For registration details, see the ASA site,
or click these options below:

Annual Meeting Brochure (PDF)
On-line Annual Meeting Registration
Annual Meeting Registration Form (PDF)
Pre-meeting Info from Calvin College
Promotional Slide Show (PDF, 1.5 MB)
More ASA Annual Meeting Information

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