For Immediate Release:  Feb 28, 2008
2008, 02, 28

Scientists, Lawyers and Clergy to Debate Stem Cell and Cloning Research at Hofstra Law School, March 5 - 6.

Scientists, Lawyers and Clergy to Debate Stem Cell and Cloning Research at Hofstra Law School, March 5 - 6.

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Allen Morrison
Director of Communications
Hofstra Law
Phone: 516.463.4142
E-mail: allen.morrison@hofstra.edu

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Recent scientific developments in the field of human embryonic stem cell research and cloning have prompted a host of difficult questions that challenge lawmakers, scientists, ethicists, theologians, and ordinary citizens.

On March 5-6, 2008, some of the nation's leading researchers, physicians, lawyers, clergy, ethicists and policy makers will debate these questions at a conference entitled Embryonic Stem Cells, Clones and Genes: Science, Law, Politics and Values, presented by Hofstra Law School and the Hofstra Cultural Center.

There is a tension between recent revolutionary advances in the biological sciences, with their potential to remarkably improve the treatment of many serious diseases, and the risk cited by many that they will degrade human life by regarding it as merely a tool, and by creating altered forms of human life, said Hofstra Law School Professor and Conference Co-Director Janet Dolgin. These are difficult and contentious issues, to be sure. We hope that, by bringing together participants of differing views in this academic setting, we may be able to move the debate forward and perhaps find some common ground.

The conference is particularly timely, since it is the first broad-based conference on stem cells since President Bush mentioned the possibility of inducing stem cell equivalents from skin cells in humans in his State of the Union address in January, Professor Dolgin said.

The conference, co-directed by Dr. Joel Weintraub, Special Professor of Law at Hofstra Law School, will be held in the Lowenfeld Conference and Exhibition Hall at the Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library (10th Floor) at Hofstra University.

Among the noted experts appearing at the conference are John D. Gearhart, Ph.D, Director of the Stem Cell Program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine's Institute for Cell Engineering, and William B. Hurlbut, M.D., Member, President's Council on Bioethics and Professor of Neurology at Stanford University.

Also speaking will be Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk (widely known as Father Tad), Director of Education, National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia; Bernard Siegel, Executive Director of the Genetics Policy Institute, Wellington, FL; and Merrill Goozner, Director, Integrity in Science Project at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Washington, DC.

The conference is the second in a series sponsored by Hofstra Law School and the Hofstra Cultural Center on Biomedical Research and the Law. The first, held at Hofstra University in October 2006, dealt with the relationship of the pharmaceutical industry to government, academia, physicians, and consumers.

The conference is made possible with the sponsorship of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System (which co-sponsors Continuing Medical Education {CME} credit) and the generous support of the law firm of Garfunkel, Wild Travis, P.C.

For more information, including the conference program, registration materials, and details on available CLE credit, please visit the conference web site at law.hofstra.edu/StemCellConf. To register by telephone, please call the Hofstra Cultural Center at (516) 463-5669.

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The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University is located 40 minutes from New York City in suburban Long Island. Hofstra Law is home to nearly 850 students, an alumni base of more than 10,600 members and a distinguished faculty of more than 50 professors, including many scholars recognized as national and international experts in their field. The law school is part of Hofstra University and is fully accredited by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association.

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