Bioethicist to Deliver Albaugh Lecture Jan. 25

Jan. 23, 2007

by Julie Carlson, senior staff writer, (254) 710-6681

Dr. Leon Kass, former chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics, will deliver the Roy Albaugh Lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, in room 510 in the Cashion Academic Center on the Baylor University campus. Kass' lecture, "Brave New Biology: The Challenge of Bioethics," is free and open to the public.

Kass, who holds a medical degree and a Ph.D., is The Addie Clark Harding Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the College at the University of Chicago and Hertog Fellow in Social Thought at the American Enterprise Institute. He chaired the President's Council on Bioethics from 2002-05.

A native of Chicago, Kass was educated at the University of Chicago, where he received his bachelor's and medical degrees and at Harvard where he earned a doctorate in biochemistry. After receiving his doctorate, he conducted research in molecular biology at the National Institutes of Health, while serving in the United States Public Health Service.

Shifting directions from doing science to thinking about its human meaning, Kass has been engaged for more than 30 years with ethical and philosophical issues raised by biomedical advances and, more recently, with broader moral and cultural issues. From 1970-72, he served as Executive Secretary of the Committee on the Life Sciences and Social Policy of the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, whose report, Assessing Biomedical Technologies, provided one of the first overviews of the emerging moral and social questions posed by biomedical advances.

He taught at St. John's College and served as Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., Research Professor in Bioethics at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, before returning in 1976 to the University of Chicago, where he has been an award-winning teacher deeply involved in undergraduate education and committed to the study of classic texts.

His numerous articles and books include: Toward a More Natural Science: Biology and Human Affairs, The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfecting of Our Nature, The Ethics of Human Cloning (with James Q. Wilson), Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marrying (with Amy A. Kass), Life, Liberty, and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics, and The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis.

Sponsored by the Baylor chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the Albaugh lectureship was endowed in the late 1970s by Mrs. Oma Buchanan Albaugh in memory of her late husband, a Waco business and civic leader from his move to Waco in 1920 until his death in 1964.

For more information, call the Baylor classics department at (254) 710-1399.

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