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Columbia Lecture Series Probes the Boundaries of Science and Religion

By Suzanne Trimel

Columbia's Center for the Study of Science and Religion opens its 2002 public lecture series examining issues and topics at the boundaries of science, ethics and religion on Wednesday, Jan. 30. In the first lecture, David Rosner, professor of history and public health and director of the Center for History and Ethics at the Mailman School of Public Health, will discuss how private hospitals today balance their responsibility to tend the bottom line with their founding mission as religious and charitable institutions.

Rosner notes that many of New York City's hospitals were founded as Catholic, Jewish or Protestant institutions with a caring, compassionate mission. In his lecture, titled "The Business of Values in the Development of the Modern Hospital," Rosner will examine how this mission has evolved with the increasing demands of looking after the bottom line in an era of escalating health care costs. He is the author of "The Living City," a web site that traces the history of public health in New York City.

Lectures in the series will be held from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. in the Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research, 530 West 120th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. They are free and open to the Columbia and affiliated communities.

Support for the series has been extended at Columbia by the offices of the Vice Provost for Research, Digital Knowledge Ventures, the Dean of the Mailman School of Public Health, the Dean of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Departments of Biology and Religion.

Other lectures in the series:

Spring 2002

  • Wednesday February 6
    The Rev. Dr. Mariano Artigas, University of Navarra, Spain
    "New Light on the Galileo Affair"
    414 Schaprio Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research
  • Wednesday February 27
    Dr. John Evans, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of California-San Diego
    "The Slow and Silent Exclusion of Religion from Bioethics: the Case of Human Genetic Engineering, 1959-1995"
    414 Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research
  • Wednesday March 6
    Dr. Ursula Goodenough, Professor of Biology, Washington University
    "The Sacred Depths of Nature"
    414 Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research
  • Wednesday April 3
    Dr. Manuela Veloso, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
    "Robots that Can Collaborate and Learn"
    Davis Auditorium, Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research
  • Wednesday April 24
    Dr. Angela Diaz, Professor of Adolescent Medicine and Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
    "The Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center: A Biopsychosocial Spiritual Model for Serving Teens"
    Davis Auditorium, Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research
  • Monday May 6
    Dr. William Phillips, 1997 Nobel Laureate in Physics
    "Ordinary Faith, Ordinary Science"
    Davis Auditorium, Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research

Autumn 2002

  • Wednesday September 25
    Dr. Praveen Chaudhari, Research Staff Member at IBM, Yorktown Heights
    "Science and Spirituality: Doing and Being"
    Davis Auditorium, Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research
  • Wednesday October 2
    Dr. J. Wentzel van Huyssteen, Princeton Theological Seminary
    "Fallen Angels or Rising Beasts? Human Uniqueness as an Interdisciplinary Challenge for Theology and Science"
    Davis Auditorium, Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research
  • Wednesday October 30
    Dr. Mindy Fullilove, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Public Health,
    Dr. Robert Fullilove, Associate Professor of Clinical Public Health, Mailman School of Public Health
    "Spirit: A Natural Resource in Poor Communities"
    Davis Auditorium, Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research
  • Wednesday November 20
    Dr. Larry Rasmussen, Professor of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary
    "Toward a New Environmental Ethic: Science and Religion in Conversation"
    Davis Auditorium, Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research
  • Wednesday December 11
    Dr. Courtney Bender, Assistant Professor of Religion and Sociology, Columbia
    "The Position of the Sacred in Contemporary Alternative Medicine"
    Davis Auditorium, Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research

The Center for the Study of Science and Religion was founded in 1999 to reconsider the large question-is the natural normative?-from both scientific and religious perspectives at once, and to examine the social, medical and political implications of our current inability to reach a single answer. It is an interdisciplinary, inter-school, collaborative forum for the examination of issues lying at the boundary of the scientific and religious ways of comprehending the world and our place in it.

Published: Jan 30, 2002
Last modified:Sep 18, 2002


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