Distributed March 15, 2001
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Kristen Cole



Conference to address implications of charting the human genome
Four panels will address questions raised by charting the human genome at a conference titled “Genetic Influences on Human Behavior and Development” April 5-6, 2001, in Leung Gallery at Faunce House. The event is free and open to the public.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Sticky questions surrounding desirable and undesirable genetic characteristics, public policy and ethics will be discussed at a conference titled “Genetic Influences on Human Behavior and Development” April 5-6, 2001, in Leung Gallery at Faunce House, located on The College Green.

Four panel discussions will capture views about the implications of charting the human genome from experts in disciplines ranging from psychology and biology to philosophy and education. All sessions are free and open to the public.

“The approaching conclusion of charting the human genome has increased the danger of misunderstanding and oversimplification of genetic influences both on population characteristics and individual behavior and development,” said Cynthia Garcia Coll, the Mittlemann Family Director of the Center for the Study of Human Development and professor of education, psychology and pediatrics. “We expect .... the conference will help to clear misconceptions surrounding genetics.”

The event is sponsored by the Center for the Study of Human Development, the Francis Wayland Collegium for Liberal Learning, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Pathways Through Middle Childhood.

April 5

9:00 a.m.
Panel discussion, “The Views from History, Ethics and Public Policy,” moderated by John Modell, professor of education at Brown. Panelists include Richard Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science, Tufts University; Susan Oyama, professor emeritus at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University, New York; William Dickens, senior fellow in economic studies, The Brookings Institute; and Jessica Cohen, research as-sistant, The Brookings Institute.

11:15 a.m.
Discussion led by Dan Brock, the Charles C. Tillinghast, Jr. University Professor, professor of philosophy and biomedical ethics, and director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Brown

2 p.m.
Panel discussion, “The Views from Human Development,” moderated by Ron Seifer, associate professor of psychiatry at Brown. Panelists include Willis Overton, professor of psychology at Temple University; Felton Earls, professor of child psychiatry at Harvard Medical School; Margaret Spencer, professor of education and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania; and Stephen Suomi, chief of the laboratory of comparative ethology at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

4:15 p.m.
Discussion led by Anne Fausto-Sterling, professor of molecular cell biology and biochemistry at Brown.

April 6

9:00 a.m.
Panel discussion, “The Views from Behavioral Genetics – I,” moderated by Cynthia Garcia Coll. Panelists include Jerry Hirsch, emeritus professor of psychology, ecology, ethology and evolution at the University of Illinois; Michael McKeown, professor of molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry at Brown; David Reiss, the Vivian Gill Distinguished Research Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and Medicine at George Washington University.

10:45 a.m.
Discussion led by Hilary Worthen, instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School

1:30 p.m.
Panel discussion, “The Views from Behavioral Genetics – II,” moderated by Kristi Wharton, assistant professor of molecular cell biology and biochemistry at Brown. Panelists include Michael Pogue-Gelle, associate professor and director of the clinical psychology program at the University of Pittsburgh; Gilbert Gottlieb, professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill; Richard Rende, associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown.

3:15 p.m.
Discussion led by Lundy Braun, associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Brown

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