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Women's Bioethics Project Podcasts

The Scientist & the Ethicists

Welcome to the audio library of “The Scientist & the Ethicists,” where you can listen to or download short discussions on topical issues related to reproductive and genetic technologies, neuroethics and the impact they have on women, families, and society. This fascinating series of conversations between prominent bioethicists and WBP Research Fellow and bioengineer Emilie Clemmens digs deeper into issues raised by the books in the Women’s Bioethics Book Club such as “designer babies” and genetic engineering.

New Podcast Series: 

Mind Matters: Beliefs, Emotions & Self Identity

“Let’s face it: one person’s liver is pretty much like another’s. Our brains, by contrast, give us our intelligence, integrity, curiosity, compassion, an—here’s the most mysterious one—conscience. The brain is the organ of individuality.”
Advances in neuroscience are going to pose some of the most important ethical questions yet about what it means to be human – challenging our concepts of free will, gender and genetic determinism, and what sets us apart from other species. To help us address those issues, we have developed a new program called: Mind Matters: Beliefs, Emotions & Self Identity.
The series is designed to help you understand the direct and profound affect neuroscience will have on your life. The issues to consider are enormous and according to Dr. Walter Glannon, prominent bioethicist, “will challenge our traditional views of personhood, personal identity, agency, and the self and in turn our ethical practices of praising and blaming, excusing, and holding individuals responsible for their behavior.”
Our goal is to provide the tools you’ll need to come to your own conclusions about what you want laws and regulations to look like. We want to make bioethical issues relevant and then provide the support you need to thoroughly examine the issues and then take action to make your voice heard. 
In short, we’ve created Mind Matters to engage, educate, and empower you.
The first installment in our new series is a transcribed conversation with Francoise Baylis, PhD, a professor and Canada Research Chair in Bioethics and Philosophy at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dr. Baylis is a renowned expert in women’s health and bioethics including issues surrounding assisted reproduction and stem-cell research. But more recently she has begun work in the field of neuroethics and is especially interested in how interventions in the brain can be perceived as impacting the human sense of self.
Professor and Canada Research Chair in Bioethics and Philosophy
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
"I actually think that the mind is very much influenced by the body—but I’m quite willing to say, at the end of the day, I think identity actually is not bounded by skin."


Podcast Series: 

The Scientist & the Ethicists

Each of the podcasts in this series provides a unique perspective on the ethical, social, and legal aspects of reproductive and genetic technologies. The series covers such provocative questions as:

How are emerging genetic and reproductive technologies influencing our lives today? How will they change our lives in the future?
Why are women’s perspectives important on these issues?
Is it ethical for parents to choose an embryo based on its genetic traits?
Is it ethical to change an embryo’s genes, given that it would affect future generations? What if it’s for a medical purpose? What if it’s for “enhancement,” non-medical reasons?

The following "The Scientist & the Ethicists" podcast episodes are now available: 

Associate Executive Director, Center for Genetics and Society

" … there are ways to absolutely protect reproductive freedom and reproductive choice while not saying that 'anything goes' concerning designer babies."

Former Staff Director, National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research and Los Alamos National Laboratory

“Pay attention, because it’s coming. You want to be able to make an informed decision about…whether society should be taking steps to encourage or restrict where science takes us.”

"The Scientist & the Ethicist" Part 1: on Women’s and International Bioethical Perspectives   

"The Scientist & the Ethicist" Part 2: on Genetic Enhancement, Reproductive Freedom, and the Changing Face of Healthcare


Distinguished Professor in Health Care Ethics
Director, Center for Professional and Applied Ethics
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

I really don’t want to feel that we’re being pressured to live in a society where only ‘perfect people’ are acceptable.”

"The Scientist & the Ethicist: Ethics of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis"


Core Faculty at Alden March Bioethics Institute (AMBI) Research Fellow at the University of Vermont

“I think where the problem lies, though, is with using it (PGD) for enhancement purposes…To try and strive to have a perfect race—that’s a very scary thought.”

"The Scientist & the Ethicist: Laws Affecting Genetic Technologies"


Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics University of Wisconsin Law and Medical Schools

“We always, in the United States, make a distinction between what we think is right and wrong and what we think the government should prohibit and permit.”

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