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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Renowned bioethicist to speak at URI’s Convocation
Speech to kick off University’s Honors Colloquium
on the genetic revolution

KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 30, 2002 -- A dynamic speaker who makes complex scientific and ethical issues understandable to the general public will help the University of Rhode Island kick off its new academic year and inaugurate its fall honors colloquium "Genetic Technology and Public Policy in the New Millennium" on Sept. 12.

George Annas, chair of the Health Law Department at Boston University’s School of Public Health and co-founder of Global Lawyers and Physicians, an international professional association working to promote human rights and health, will deliver URI’s Convocation keynote address at 3 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium. The public is invited.

His talk, "Science, Progress, and the Posthuman: Will Genetic Technology Shape Us or Will We Shape It?" will identify ethical and public policy issues related to genetic technology, the promise and pitfalls of its use, and in doing so provide a framework for the semester-long colloquium series.

In his role as a public intellectual, Annas has appeared on 60 Minutes, Nightline, Frontline, Today, and Good Morning America as well as the nightly news programs of NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox.

Annas is also the Edward R. Utley Professor of Health Law, Bioethics

& Human Rights at Boston University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, a law degree, and a master’s degree in public health from Harvard and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Salem State College ('94) for "his scholarship, value analysis, and persistent advocacy for human rights."

Annas has authored more than 200 articles on health law and bioethics. He wrote frequently on "law and bioethics" for the Hastings Center Report from 1976 to 199l and a regular feature on "Public Health and the Law" in the American Journal of Public Health from 1982 to 1992. Since 1991 he has written on "Legal Issues in Medicine" for the New England Journal of Medicine. He is the author or editor of 12 books on health law, including The Rights of Patients (1975), Judging Medicine (1987), and Standard of Care (l993), and a play entitled Shelley's Brain, which has been presented to bioethics audiences across the U.S. and in Australia. His most recent books are Some Choice: Law, Medicine & the Market (Oxford, 1998), and Health and Human Rights (Routledge, 1999, coedited).

He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the Institute of Medicine, co-chair of the American Bar Association's Committee on Medical Practice and Medical Research (Science and Technology Section), an honorary fellow of the American College of Legal Medicine, and the founder of the Law, Medicine, and Ethics Program at Boston University. He has also held a variety of government regulatory posts, including vice chair of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, chair of the Massachusetts Health Facilities Appeals Board, and chair of the Commonwealth's Organ Transplant Task Force.

For five years, he was the director of the Boston University School of Law's Center for Law and Health Sciences.

Major sponsors for the colloquium series are the University of Rhode Island Honors Program, The Providence Journal, The URI Foundation, Theta Chi Fraternity, the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, the Joan Irvine Smith and Athalie R. Clarke Foundation, and the President’s Office. Additional sponsors include URI’s Offices of the Provost and the dean of Arts and Sciences, College of Nursing, Multicultural Center, Student Entertainment Committee, the John Hazen White Sr. Center for Ethics and Public Service, the URI Alumni Association and Matritech.

For a full schedule of events, click on www.uri.edu or call Jan Wenzel at 401-874-2116.

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