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Media Contact: Shell Amega or
Paula Wagner

January 12, 2006
“Defining Life and Death”
Explored in Science Matters

A New Speakers Program at the
California Science Center

Los AngelesScience Matters, a new speakers program that explores current science issues at the forefront of public concern, will present “Defining Life and Death” on January 21, 2006, from 1:30-3:30 pm in the Loker Conference Center at the California Science Center.  Distinguished panelists will discuss fundamental questions regarding the state of medical science and practice in today’s hospitals and the roles of patients, family and physicians regarding end-of-life issues.  Admission is free.

Panelists include Dr. Neil Wenger, Professor of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research at the University of California, Los Angeles and Chair of the UCLA Medical Center Ethics Committee; Shirley Otis-Green, Senior Research Specialist, Nursing Research and Education Department, City of Hope National Medical Center; Dr. Jay Wolfson, Professor of Public Health and Medicine, Associate Vice President at the University of South Florida Professor of Law Health at Stetson College of Law, and Professor of Medicine at Florida State University, who served as Terri Schiavo’s special court-appointed guardian reporting to the Governor of Flordia and the courts on her neurological capacities; and Reverend Cecil Murray, Tanzy Chair of Christian Ethics and Senior Fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture, University of Southern California and Pastor Emeritus, First African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Prior to the speakers’ program, the public is invited to participate in a round-table seminar exploring the definition of life through Plato’s Phaedo, a moving account of Socrates's final conversations about the meaning of life and death with friends, on the day of his execution.  Participants should read Phaedo before attending the seminar.  Following the speakers’ program, seminar participants will regroup for a facilitated follow-up discussion. The round-table seminar will take place from 10 -11:30 am and will be limited to 60 participants.  There is no charge for members to take part in the round-table seminar and a $10.00 fee for non-members.

A special exhibit developed by the Dallas Museum of Art entitled “After Life” complements the panel discussion and seminar by exploring perceptions of death and dying among diverse world cultures through art. The exhibition is supported in part by a generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and will be featured at the Science Center from January through April, 2006.

Science Matters programs are held annually in the fall, winter and spring at the Science Center.  The debut program, held last September, examined the pros and cons of stem cell research.  The final program in the 2005-2006 series will focus on:

Cloning – April 15, 2006
For $30,000 you can clone your cat, and soon you will be able to clone your dog. Scientists and ethicists explain the current science of cloning and what’s possible in the near future. In this light, policy makers, scientists and ethicists discuss the responsibilities, obligations, and implications associated with reproductive cloning.

For up-to-date information on participants or to make a reservation for Science Matters or the special roundtable seminar, 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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