With great medical and technical advances comes great responsibility. The Center for ethics and Community in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences endeavors to ensure this responsibility is met through internal and external education and collaborations.
“The more that technology and research advance, the more important it is to have somebody deciding if it ought to be done,” says Candice Shelby, executive director of the center and associate professor of philosophy on the Downtown Campus. “We provide a reflective presence.”
Even before the 2004 consolidation of the Health Sciences Center and CU Denver, an important collaboration between medicine, technology and philosophy was forged at these institutions to promote discussion on bioethics in health care.
Mark Yarborough, director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities and past chair of the philosophy department, Shelby and the center initiated a two-day annual interdisciplinary conference in April 2007 to bring together researchers in traditional sciences and artificial intelligence, medical practitioners, philosophers and other intellectuals.
“Theoretically, philosophers’ and practitioners’ and scientists’ takes on ethics are different,” Shelby explains. “Working with physicians and researchers gives us a better way to reach a larger section of the community and more thoroughly explore the ethical issues.”
The conference, “Intersections: Science, Religion and ethics,” explored the mind and brain relative to social policy, the medical practice and the future of the culture.
“The conference brought the humanities squarely into scientific conversations by addressing important research and its application from the broader context of human life-space and experience,” Shelby notes. “This venture strengthened the ties we have begun to forge on our campus between practitioners of the sciences and those who theorize about the relevance in human experience of those sciences.”
Reprinted from Pinnacle Magazine