Welcome to RIT's 175th Anniversary website. The University celebrated the anniversary during the 2004-05 academic year. This website is no longer active and will no longer be updated. The site remains active, however, to preserve the history of both RIT and the anniversary year.

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Lecture Series 2004-2005

Recent advances in biomedical science and biotechnology have generated a national conversation concerning the meaning and implications of modern medicine. The most thoughtful participants in this discussion agree that the subject touches upon the fundamental questions regarding the nature of humanity and the character of our society. The lecture series, Biotechnology and Our Future as Human Beings and Citizens will focus on the challenges and promises this technological revolution poses for self-government, for our understanding of liberty and equality, and for our notions of humanity, virtue and citizenship.

The lecture series will begin at 7:30 pm in Ingle Auditorium, Building 4, Room 1322 and will be interpreted for the deaf and hearing impaired.

All lectures are free and open to the public.

Sponsored in part by the New York Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Fall Quarter

September 30:
"The Role of Genomics in Drug Discovery"

Dr. William Haseltine is Chairman of the Board of Directors and former Chief Executive Officer of Human Genome Science, Inc. Dr. Haseltine holds a doctorate from Harvard University in Biophysics and was formerly a professor at Dana-Farber Public Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health from 1976 to 1993. Since 1981, he has founded seven biotechnology firms, each in a different area of medicine.

October 14 :
“Who’s Afraid of Posthumanity? A Look at the Growing Left/Right Opposition to Biotechnical Progress”

Mr. Ron Bailey is the Science Correspondent for Reason magazine. Mr. Bailey has edited Earth Report 2000: Revisiting The True State of The Planet (McGraw Hill, 1999), and is the author of ECOSCAM: The False Prophets of Ecological Apocalypse (St. Martins Press, 1993). In 1995, he edited The True State of the Planet (The Free Press). He is currently working on a book entitled Liberation Biology.

Winter Quarter

December 9 :
"Future Biotechnologies: The Governance Challenge"

Dr. Francis Fukuyama is Dean, Johns Hopkins University Center for International Studies in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the President's Council on Bioethics. Among his books are The Last Man and the End of History (1993); Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity (1996); The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order (2000); and Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution (2002).

January 13 :
"Challenging Mother Nature: Biotechnology in a Spiritual World"

Dr. Lee M. Silver is Professor, Department of Molecular Biology, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University. He is a member of the Program in Science, Technology & Environmental Policy, the Center for Health and Well-being, and the Office of Population Research, at the Woodrow Wilson School. He is the author of Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning Will Transform the American Family (1998) published in 15 languages.

Spring Quarter

March 24:
"Nihilism and Human Nature in Biotechnology"

Dr. Larry Arnhart is Professor of Political Science at Northern Illinois University. His most recent book is the highly acclaimed Darwinian Natural Right: The Biological Ethics of Human Nature (1998). Dr. Arnhart is Associate Editor for Ethics and Biotechnology and Bioengineering for The Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics (Macmillan Reference, New York). He is also a member of the editorial boards of Politics and the Life Sciences and Evolutionary Psychology.

April 21 :
“Biotechnology and Our Human Future: Some General Reflections”

Dr. Leon R. Kass, M.D., is a professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and Hertog Fellow in Social Thought at the American Enterprise Institute. Dr. Kass also serves as the chair of the President’s Council on Bioethics. Among his books are Toward a More Natural Science: Biology and Human Affairs (1984); The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfection of Our Nature (1994); The Ethics of Human Cloning (with James Q. Wilson) (1998); Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Human Dignity (2002).


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