Values Lectures to Take Look at Health Care and Medical Science

A series of speakers will take the pulse of medical science and the practice of health care when the Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology launches its fourth annual lecture series Wednesday.

The theme for the five lectures is The Heart of Medicine: Ethics and Values in the Science and Practice of Medicine.  

“In medical practice, we see the ways that human values, scientific and technical knowledge, and economic and political motives interact,” said Dr. Matthew J. Brown, director of the center.

“We need to examine what values ought to guide the art of healing, to understand the complexities of patient-doctor relationships, and to determine how scientific knowledge, technical innovation, and practitioner expertise are to be balanced.”

The first speaker of the series, Dr. James Robert Brown, will examine the interaction of patent incentives and medical research in his talk, “Patents and Progress: The Crisis in Commercialized Medical Research.”

Brown will present Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the Jonsson Performance Hall.

James Robert Brown is professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto. His interests include a wide range of topics in the philosophy of science and mathematics: thought experiments, foundational issues in mathematics and physics, visual reasoning, and issues involving science and society, such as the role of commercialization in medical research. His most recent books include: Who Rules in Science: A Guide to the Wars and Platonism, Naturalism and Mathematical Knowledge.

The Center for Values was established in 2009 to help the public understand the complex, crucial role that technological innovations and scientific discoveries play in shaping the values of contemporary culture.

The cornerstone of the Center for Values’ outreach is an annual public lecture series that brings in leading scholars to investigate topics at the intersection of technology and the humanities. An international group of authors, artists, scientists, philosophers, theorists, and engineers engage a diverse audience in thinking about issues such as “Creativity in the Age of Technology” (2009 series), “Exploring Human Enhancement” (2010 series), and “Funded and Forbidden Knowledge: Science, Politics and Cultural Values” (2011).

All the lectures are free and open to the public. Visit the Center for Values’ website for more information.


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