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One Day University with The Kansas City Star

October 27, 2018 9:30 AM – 1:15 PM

schedule

9:30 AM - 10:35 AM
Ethical Dilemmas and Modern Medicine: Questions Nobody Wants to Ask

Jacob Appel / Brown University

The same medical technologies that have brought us miracle drugs and unprecedented longevity are also forcing us to confront increasingly difficult ethical dilemmas. Should taxpayers spend several million dollars to prolong one patient's life for one month? Can genes be patented? How ought judges respond when doctors and family members disagree on the very definition of death? May a seventeen-year-old boy refuse to give a life-saving bone marrow transplant to his fifteen-year-old cousin? Thirty years ago, debates in medical ethics focused on the same questions that had once puzzled Hippocrates and Galen many centuries earlier. When does life begin? When may confidentiality be broken? Must a physician help a stranger in need?

Today, most challenges in bioethics arise from two relatively novel sets of issues: 1.) conflicts over scarce healthcare resources and 2.) the desire of philosophical and religious minorities to be opt out of established medical norms. How society ultimately resolves these questions is not simply an abstract matter for debate by philosophers and ethicists. Rather, the outcome of these controversies is likely to affect each and every one of us when we or our loved ones become ill. This lecture will examine some paradigmatic recent cases in the field of bioethics and will offer students a framework for analyzing future cases on their own.

Jacob Appel / Brown University
Jacob Appel is an American author, bioethicist, physician, lawyer and social critic. He is best known for his short stories, his work as a playwright, and his writing in the fields of reproductive ethics, organ donation, neuroethics and euthanasia. Appel's novel, The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Prize in 2012. He has taught medical ethics at New York University, Columbia University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Brown University's Alpert Medical School.

10:50 AM - 11:55 AM
What We Can Learn From the Italian Renaissance

Arielle Saiber / Bowdoin College

For approximately two centuries (late 1300s to early 1600s), Italy experienced what we now call the Renaissance—renowned for its exquisite art and architecture, its innovators such as Leonardo, Machiavelli, and Galileo, and its intricate system of power and patronage. It was a time in which increasing social mobility, as well as enthusiasm for classical thought, led to extensive reflections on identity and self-fashioning. Questions that we are still asking today regarding success, happiness, and one's role in society were being rapidly articulated and—thanks to the printing press—disseminated via philosophical treatises, literature, and advice manuals, serious and satirical.

This lecture explores some of the most popular categories of Renaissance wit and wisdom, including strategies for navigating the world of love, improving one's memory, keeping up with appearance, finding equanimity, and living a long and healthy life. We will see how little, and how much, has changed over the centuries. In looking at the values the Italian Renaissance held most dear, we have a chance to reflect upon our own values, and what we, today, seek in the name of personal and global well-being.

Arielle Saiber / Bowdoin College
Arielle Saiber is a Professor of romance languages and literature at Bowdoin College. Her latest book is "Measured Words: Computation and Writing in Renaissance Italy". She has won numerous fellowships for her research, such as the NEH, Harvard's Villa I Tatti, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, as well as awards for her writing, including Yale's Field Prize, the Modern Language Association's Scaglione Award, and the Newberry Library's Weiss-Brown Award. In 2004, she received Bowdoin's only teaching award, the Karofsky Prize. She will be the Speroni Chair for Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Culture at UCLA for fall 2018.

12:10 PM - 1:15 PM
How the 1960's Changed America: Lessons from a Pivotal Decade

Leonard Steinhorn / American University

We may not wear bell bottoms and tie-dye t-shirts anymore, and let's not talk about what happened to our hair. But even though almost half a century has passed since the 1960s, it's a decade that continues to reverberate in our society, politics, culture, and institutions to this very day.

In many ways, America today is a product of the Sixties. From civil rights to feminism to gay liberation to the environmental movement to the silent majority, what started back then has shaped and influenced our country ever since. Before the Sixties, Americans trusted their government and their leaders; since the Sixties, we question almost everything they do. Before the Sixties, it was Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best, and the sturdy dad with the lunchpail that symbolized our culture; since the Sixties, diversity and individuality define who we are. Whereas we once looked to executives at General Motors and General Electric to chart our economic progress, we now gain inspiration from the late hippie who invented the iPhone. To understand America today, we must understand the lessons from the 1960s.

Leonard Steinhorn / American University
Leonard Steinhorn is a professor of communication and affiliate professor of history at American University. He currently serves as a political analyst for CBS News in Washington, D.C. He is the author of "The Greater Generation: In Defense of the Baby Boom Legacy," and co-author of "By the Color of Our Skin: The Illusion of Integration and the Reality of Race," books that have generated widespread discussion and debate. Professor Steinhorn's writings have been featured in several publications, including The Washington Post, Salon, Politico, and Huffington Post. He has twice been named Faculty Member of the Year at AU.

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