Biotechnology

A Christian Framework for Engaging in Science Policy

But what is science policy and how should Christians approach science policy? ‘Science policy’ includes public policy about science—federal funding for scientific research, clinical trial regulations, public health policy, or science, math, and engineering education policy. The term ‘science policy’ is also invoked to talk about how science is used to craft public policy, as in the case of using fetal pain research to craft abortion policy.

In order to develop a sound approach for Christian engagement in science policy, we first need to develop a framework for thinking about how to integrate faith with our view of science and our approach to political engagement.

Podcast Episode: 
170

Revitalizing Medicine: Empowering Natality vs. Fearing Mortality Part II

One of the great accomplishments of modern medicine is arguably the gains that have been made in extending longevity. Throughout the twentieth century, average life expectancy increased dramatically across the globe, a trend being continued in the twenty-first century with the notable exceptions of sub-Saharan Africa and Russia. For the first time in history it now seems “normal” that a person should live a long, healthy, and active life. Although the trend line is still moving up, it has started to plateau.

Podcast Episode: 
128

Revitalizing Medicine: Empowering Natality vs. Fearing Mortality

One of the great accomplishments of modern medicine is arguably the gains that have been made in extending longevity. Throughout the twentieth century, average life expectancy increased dramatically across the globe, a trend being continued in the twenty-first century with the notable exceptions of sub-Saharan Africa and Russia. For the first time in history it now seems “normal” that a person should live a long, healthy, and active life. Although the trend line is still moving up, it has started to plateau.

Podcast Episode: 
127

Biotechnology Meets Primetime TV

It is no secret that bioethical content has been the fodder for both film and television for quite some time. The mainstay of science fiction films for years has ranged from cyborgs (Bicentennial Man) and artificial intelligence (AI, I Robot) to bizarre human experimentation and research (The X-Files: I Want to Believe), such as genetic enhancement (GATTACA), organ farming (The Island), and cloning (The 6th Day) just to name a few more. Even the occasional drama has featured key bioethical dilemmas such as euthanasia (Million Dollar Baby) and just access to healthcare services (John Q) to the recent film depiction of savior siblings (My Sister’s Keeper).[1] The silver screen has accessed these issues for years. Similar ventures in primetime television have met varied success. Medical dramas have highlighted key issues raised in clinical medicine. Pick your show of choice: ER, Grey’s Anatomy, House, Private Practice,[2] or any of the numerous other medical dramas that have reigned in primetime television for years. The success of the medical drama is demonstrated through the proliferation of spinoffs and the creation of the genre of medical comedies as epitomized in Scrubs. Amidst the daytime plotlines of hypersexuality and human frailty, primetime viewers are exposed to such issues as informed consent, medical error, and the nature of the Hippocratic Oath. Not surprisingly these connections have been noted by savvy educators who use culture as one of the means by which they teach bioethics.

Podcast Episode: 
136

Extending Human Life to What End: Ethical Reflections on Regenerative Medicine (Part 2)

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  • Length: 28:11 minutes (32.27 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Joint stereo 44kHz 160Kbps (CBR)

The second and final part of a 2004 lecture by Brent Waters, DPhil, originally delivered on the campus of Trinity International University. The lecture is entitled “Extending Human Life to what End: Ethical Reflections on Regenerative Medicine.”

Podcast Episode: 
105

Extending Human Life to What End: Ethical Reflections on Regenerative Medicine (Part 1)

  • Download audio file
  • Length: 28:27 minutes (32.58 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Joint stereo 44kHz 160Kbps (CBR)

The first part of a 2004 lecture by Brent Waters, DPhil, originally delivered on the campus of Trinity International University. The lecture is entitled “Extending Human Life to what End: Ethical Reflections on Regenerative Medicine.”

Podcast Episode: 
104

Thinking through Technology Part III

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  • Length: 21:43 minutes (9.95 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Joint stereo 44kHz 64Kbps (CBR)

As a roadmap of where we are heading, here are a few guideposts. First, we will set the stage surveying the current landscape in technological innovation generally speaking. We, then, will turn our attention to discern the nature of technology and to mine the resources of two fields of study likely unfamiliar to many of us (i.e., philosophy of technology and computer ethics) in a section entitled “In Search of a Philosophy of Technology.” While you might be surprised to hear that such a field as computer ethics exists, the issues presented by the convergence of bioethics with communication and information technologies make an understanding of this field critically important. Finally, we will offer some preliminary questions and assessments of the emerging biotech discussion with particular interest in those issues that focus on the remaking of humanity under the rubric of technological responsibilism. My working proposal is that many of the difficulties presenting us with these emerging technologies focus on our underlying inability to assess technology and its relationship to humanity, and that much of this can be alleviated by some attention to a philosophy and more importantly a theology of technology.

Podcast Episode: 
95

Thinking through Technology Part II

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  • Length: 16:49 minutes (7.71 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Joint stereo 44kHz 64Kbps (CBR)

As a roadmap of where we are heading, here are a few guideposts. First, we will set the stage surveying the current landscape in technological innovation generally speaking. We, then, will turn our attention to discern the nature of technology and to mine the resources of two fields of study likely unfamiliar to many of us (i.e., philosophy of technology and computer ethics) in a section entitled “In Search of a Philosophy of Technology.” While you might be surprised to hear that such a field as computer ethics exists, the issues presented by the convergence of bioethics with communication and information technologies make an understanding of this field critically important. Finally, we will offer some preliminary questions and assessments of the emerging biotech discussion with particular interest in those issues that focus on the remaking of humanity under the rubric of technological responsibilism. My working proposal is that many of the difficulties presenting us with these emerging technologies focus on our underlying inability to assess technology and its relationship to humanity, and that much of this can be alleviated by some attention to a philosophy and more importantly a theology of technology.

Podcast Episode: 
94

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