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Media Contact: Shell Amega
April 5, 2006
The Science and Ethics of Reproductive Cloning”
Explored on April 15th in
Science Matters

A Speakers Program at the
California Science Center

Los Angeles Science Matters, a speakers program that explores current science issues in the forefront of public concern, will present The Science and Ethics of Reproductive Cloning on April 15, 2006, from 1:30-3:30 pm in the Loker Conference Center at the California Science Center. As cloning technologies advance, so do the hopes and fears of people around the world – imagining that the reality of human cloning may be closer than we think. Popular news magazines report that for $30,000 you can clone your cat, and soon you will be able to clone your dog. Science Matters panelists will reveal the reality of current reproductive cloning science and debate the ethical issues surrounding it including the fear of eugenics, safety of current and future technologies, and potential benefits vs. unknown social and biological consequences.

Several organizations are working to institute a worldwide ban on reproductive cloning, but many countries oppose such a ban based on the belief that all cloning techniques should be available in medical research. While many favor research on therapeutic cloning for treating human disease and illness, reproductive cloning for producing offspring has always been far more controversial.

The Science Matters program will begin with a science presentation by Edward R.B. McCabe, M.D., Ph.D., chair, Department of Human Genetics at the UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. McCabe, who is also a panelist, will explain the current science and technology of reproductive cloning. In this light, panelists will discuss the complex moral, ethical and legal issues that infuse the debate on reproductive cloning.

Other panelists include: Professor Lori B. Andrews, JD, Chicago-Kent College of Law; Hassan Hathout, MD, PhD, an Islamic scholar, bio-ethicist and retired professor of Kuwait University; and Panayiotis Zavos, Ed.S., Ph.D., Director of the Andrology Institute of America, Lexington, KY. Geoffrey Cowan, Dean of the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Southern California, will serve as moderator.

Panel Discussion
The four featured panelists will offer different perspectives on the science, practice and ethics of cloning, addressing such questions as:

  1. What is the likely future for cloning science, separating fact from Hollywood fantasy?
  2. What are the current laws regarding cloning? Is it really feasible to control or ban cloning? And if we put legal limitations on USA cloning research what are the consequences if other countries don’t have similar restrictions?
  3. How does the public feel about reproductive cloning? What are the biggest concerns both inside and outside the scientific community, here and abroad?
  4. What are the ethical and moral implications of human reproductive cloning, and are there different ethical issues for cloning animals and people?

In conjunction with the panel discussion, small round-table Art & Science program seminars will pursue the cloning topic from a broader point of view. These facilitated discussions, also held on April 15th, will explore the foundations of our respect and appreciation for human life through selections of Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics. With the help of this masterpiece of Western thought, participants will interpret Aristotle’s meaning, and bring this ethical test to bear on the complexities of the topic considered in the panel discussion.

Admission to this Art & Science program is Free for Members and $10 for non-Members. Space is very limited. Science Matters registration is required before signing up for the seminar. For up-to-date information on participants or to make a reservation, please visit: http://goto.californiasciencecenter.org/sciencematters.

The California Science Center and IMAX Theater are located in historic Exposition Park just west of the Harbor 110 Freeway at 700 State Drive, Los Angeles. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission to the exhibits is free. For recorded information, including IMAX show times, call 323.SCIENCE (323.724-3623). IMAX ticket prices range from $4.75 to $8.00. For advance ticket purchases, group rates, or to make free reservations for any visiting group of 15 or more (required), call 213.744-2019. Parking is available in the guest lot at Figueroa and 39th Street at $6 per car, $10 for buses or oversized vehicles. Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible. For further information, please visit our website at www.californiasciencecenter.org.

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