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Spring lecture series continues: Re-defining humanity in the gene age

The fourth session of the spring lecture series will feature Geneticist Dr. Greg Fowler
Is your DNA your own property? Can you be denied health insurance because your genes predict disease? Will you be unemployable for the same reason? Would you buy food labeled "genetically engineered"? Should humans be cloned? What is going on today in human embryo implantation and human germ cell manipulation?
   These and more topics will be covered in the fourth session of the spring lectures co-hosted by the Friends of the Crook County Library and the Crook County Historical Society. The lecture will take place on Fri., March 23 at 7 p.m. at the Crook County Library community room.
   Science fiction becomes science fact as we clone, create organs from germ cells, and decode the human genome.
   Geneticist Dr. Greg Fowler has long believed that the public should be part of the conversation about the ethics and societal implications of genome science. His lecture will cover these advances in genetic research and technology, and will help address the important ethical, legal and social questions they raise.
   Dr. Fowler, currently Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at OHSU, is an interdisciplinary educator, convinced that ethical discourse has great potential to enrich and extend the practice of science.
   In order to promote public discussion of these issues, Dr. Fowler has established the website geneforum.org.
   "Building on Oregon's history as a vanguard of public involvement in health policy issues, geneforum.org is committed to the premise that citizens can educate the experts about the values that bind a community together and create a common basis for problem solving," Fowler said. "It's one of those ideas whose time has come."
   This program is made possible by funding from the Oregon Council for the Humanities, an affiliate of the Nat'l Endowment for the Humanities.
   For more information call the Bowman Museum, 447-3715.