Upcoming Events

***We have no further information regarding the talks posted below***

Columbia University Center for Bioethics cordially invites you to

The Gold Foundation Ethics for Lunch Seminar Series:

 Cardiac Surgery for Children of Jehovah's Witnesses:

 Subtleties beyond Prince v. Massachusetts


George Hardart, MD

Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and

 Chair of the CHONY Ethics Committee


 Thursday, March 17, 2011

12:00 noon – 1:30 pm

Hammer Health Sciences Center, Room 401

701 W. 168 Street

(On the NW corner of Broadway and Ft Washington Ave) New York, NY 10032


 To request lunch, please contact Sydney Kinnear at

 sk2842@columbia.edu or (212) 342-0452 before 5:00 p.m., March 15, 2010.

 Lunch will be provided thanks to the generosity of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

 The event is free and all are encouraged to attend.

For general information about the Center for Bioethics, visit our Website: http://bioethicscolumbia.org





Dear New York City-area friends of NCSE, 

I thought you might like to know that Joel S. Schwartz will be speaking on "Darwin’s Disciple, George John Romanes" at 1:15 p.m. on March 3, in the South Court Auditorium of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street in Manhattan. The event is free and open to the public.

From a description of his talk: "George John Romanes (1848-1894), best known today to the intellectual community for founding the Oxford University lecture series still bearing his name (1891), was a major figure in the history of biology for his advocacy of Darwinian evolution as well as his contributions in animal physiology -- discovery of a nervous system in invertebrates -- and in animal behavior -- recognition of the ability of animals besides humans to reason. But perhaps Romanes’s greatest legacy is the support he gave Darwin when it was most needed."

"After publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species in 1859, Darwin and his work was under attack almost from the outset, not only by the religious establishment but also by scientists offended either by the theory itself or by its primary mechanism, natural selection.  Darwin and his theory needed support from other naturalists, and Romanes became a strong advocate for Darwinian evolution in the decade preceding Darwin’s death in 1882, and the years before his own death in 1894, thereby filling the vacuum left by evolutionists who disagreed with Darwin on the mechanism by which species evolve."

Schwartz is Professor Emeritus of Biology at the City University of New York. His book, Darwin’s Disciple: George John Romanes, A Life in Letters, was published July 2010 by Lightning Rod Press at the American Philosophical Society. Currently, he is Contributing Editor of the Darwin Manuscripts Project, based at the American Museum of Natural History.

For further information, visit: http://www.nypl.org/locations/tid/36/node/100335


Dear Friends of the Center for the Study of Science and Religion,

The CSSR Spring 2011 Seminar Series presents...

The Clearings of Narrative Medicine, or How the Sick and Those Who Care for Them Can Unite A lecture by Dr. Rita Charon, M.D., Ph.D.

Thursday, February 17th, 6:00-7:30 PM

Davis Auditorium, Schapiro CEPSR Building

513 W. 120th St, New York, NY 10025

This lecture will describe the emergence of narrative medicine at Columbia and the uses to which it has been put.  By describing some of the clinical routines, training consequences, and on-going scholarly projects of narrative medicine, Dr. Charon will try to convey the visions of narrative medicine’s collaborative and relational practice of health care. 

Rita Charon, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Clinical Medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine. She is a general internist in practice in the Associates of Internal Medicine in Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Charon graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1978 and trained in internal medicine at the Residency Program in Social Medicine at Montefiore Hospital in New York. She completed the Ph.D. in the Department of English of Columbia in 1999, writing on the late works of Henry James and on literary analyses of medical texts.  In 2000, she founded and now directs the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia.

Dr. Charon has designed and directed Columbia’s teaching programs in medical interviewing, humanities and medicine, and narrative medicine. She teaches in Columbia’s English department as well. She has published and lectured extensively in  medical and literary journals on linguistic studies of doctor-patient conversations, narrative competence in physicians and medical students, narrative ethics, and empathy in medical practice. With the Core Faculty in Narrative Medicine at Columbia, she inaugurated the Master of Science in Narrative Medicine at Columbia in 2009, the first graduate program of its kind. Dr. Charon has been honored with a Kaiser Faculty Scholar Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio residency, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and multiple clinical and literary awards and honors. Her research has been supported by the NIH, the NEH, and several private foundations. She is the author of Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness and co-editor of Stories Matter: The Role of Narrative in Medical Ethics and Psychoanalysis and Narrative Medicine. She is working on a book on Henry James. 

All CSSR Seminars are free and open to the public.

Pre-registration for this event at http://cssr.ei.columbia.edu/?id=rsvp is optional but recommended.

The CSSR Spring 2011 Seminar Series is offered with the support of the Earth Institute and Portales Partners, LLC.


Dear New York City-area friends of NCSE,

 I thought that you might like to know about the following three Darwin Day events in the New York City area.

February 11 is Darwin Day at Stony Brook University, featuring an exhibit and information table in the Student Activities Center Lobby from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., screening and discussion of episodes from the PBS Evolution series in the Student Activities Center Ballroom B from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Carl Zimmer speaking on "Darwin, from Birth to Death" in the Student Activities Center Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. A description of Zimmer's

talk: "To celebrate Darwin's birthday, he will discuss the work of one of Darwin's great followers, the late Stony Brook University biologist, George Williams. Williams showed how natural selection could help make sense of every stage in the lives of all living things, including ourselves -- from birth through childhood to adulthood and finally to old age and death. As a result of these seminal ideas, an important new discipline is emerging: evolutionary medicine."

For further information, visit:



Also on February 11, "How the World Began," by Catherine Trieschmann, will be staged at 7:00 p.m., preceded by a wine and cheese reception at 6:30 p.m. A description of the play: "Teaching high-school science today is a delicate proposition, particularly in a small Midwestern town, and still more so when that town has been devastated by a tornado that killed 17 neighbors. Delicacy, unfortunately, eludes Susan, an outsider who has come to town with good intentions and excellent educational qualifications but little experience in the classroom or with people whose beliefs differ from hers. Clashes are inevitable but, in this remarkably sensitive and openhearted play, not at all predictable in how the various participants react and interact.

In the end, how one explains the universe is perhaps less important than how one lives within it." The event takes place in the Ceremonial Hall of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street at Central Park West. Suggested donation is $5.00.

 For further information, visit:



And on February 13, the Center for Inquiry and New York City Skeptics present a Darwin Day forum on consciousness: "What does science tell us about consciousness? What light does scientific research shed on our understanding of the human capacity for attention and perception?

And how has philosophy helped us make sense of scientific findings about our ability to experience and feel?" Ned Block, a philosopher at New York University, and Jacqueline Gottlieb, a neuroscientist at Columbia University, will speak on the philosophy and science, respectively, of consciousness; after their presentations, Block and Gottlieb will sit down for a conversation with philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, followed by question-and-answer and book-signing sessions.

The event takes place in the Tischman Auditorium of Vanderbilt Hall on the campus of New York University, and is free and open to the public.

 For further information, visit:




Please find attached the announcement and application form for the competition for the 2010 Carl B. Boyer Memorial Prize in the History of Science. This prize may be awarded annually to an undergraduate in Columbia College, Barnard College, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, or the School of General Studies who writes the best essay on any topic in the history of science or mathematics as judged by a faculty committee. The deadline for submission is Monday, 19 April 2010.

Additional applications are available in 208 Hamilton Hall.

The Columbia University Center for Bioethics cordially invites you to The Gold Foundation Seminar Series: Ethics for Lunch
A Difficult Case from the CHONY Ethics Committee

A Newborn with Trisomy 18: To Treat or not to Treat? Have Times Changed?

George Hardart, MD MPH, Chair, CHONY Ethics Committee

An infant was born at CHONY with Trisomy 18 and congenital heart disease. Treatment of children with this genetic disorder raises many complex and challenging ethical issues. We will discuss the history of the management of newborns with Trisomy 13 and 18, and then explore medical and societal factors that shape our current approach to care of these infants. Should surgery to correct congenital heart disease be offered? Should only palliative care be offered? A framework for considering the ethical justifications for competing treatment strategies will be presented to the audience and discussed.

Thursday, March 11, 2010, 12:00 noon -- 1:20 pm
Hammer Health Sciences 401, Columbia University Medical Center, 701 West 168th Street
(Corner of 168th Street and Fort Washington Avenue) New York, NY 10032

Lunch will be provided thanks to the generosity of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.
We have a delicious new choice of lunch to offer you!
The event is free and all are encouraged to attend
To ensure lunch, please RSVP, or for more information, contact Jana Bassman at 212-342-0442 or by email jlb2205@columbia.edu

For future events, visit our Web site: http://bioethicscolumbia.org

Ethical Challenges in Genetic Medicine
CSSR 2010 Spring Seminar Series

Tuesday, March 23rd, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Location: Davis Auditorium
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cssr/davis_directions.html>, Schapiro CEPSR Building, Columbia University
Speaker: Wendy Chung -- Clinical and molecular geneticist; Director, Clinical Genetics Program, Columbia University
Free and open to the public, RSVP at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cssr/rsvp.html

HIV Programs: Can they transform health systems globally?
CSSR 2010 Spring Seminar Series

Tuesday, April 13th, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Location: Davis Auditorium
<http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cssr/davis_directions.html>, Schapiro CEPSR Building, Columbia University
Speaker: Wafaa El Sadr -- Professor of Clinical Medicine and Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health
Free and open to the public, RSVP at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cssr/rsvp.html

When Science and Halakha (Jewish Law) Collide: Sympathies, Strategies, and Solutions
CSSR 2010 Spring Seminar Series

Thursday, April 29th, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Location: Davis Auditorium
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cssr/davis_directions.html>, Schapiro CEPSR Building, Columbia University
Speaker: Rabbi Dov Linzer -- Yeshiva Chovevei Torah
Free and open to the public, RSVP at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cssr/rsvp.html