Are science and religion forever locked in conflict or can they coexist? On issues from evolution and the big bang to new advances in technology and medicine, religion and science are often at odds. Our Jonathan Samen Hot Buttons, Cool Conversations Discussion Series will tackle some of the most controversial breakthroughs in science, including gene editing and advancements towards immortality. What happens as our ethical and religious institutions struggle to keep up with science’s latest developments? We address the weighty questions asking if science refutes religion or if they are two separate issues.
Barbara Bradley Hagerty
Barbara Bradley Hagerty was an award-winning religion correspondent for National Public Radio and is a former reporter for the Christian Science Monitor. She is author of the book, Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality. She is currently a contributor to The Atlantic and NPR.
As Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a widely respected commentator on the relationship between science and the Christian faith, Ian Hutchinson has made presentations to dozens of university, conference, and church audiences throughout America. He is an applied physicist whose primary research interest is the magnetic confinement of plasmas.
Rabbi Geoffrey Mitelman
Rabbi Geoffrey Mitelman is the Founding Director of Sinai and Synapses, an organization that bridges the scientific and religious worlds, and is being incubated at Clal – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. His writings about the intersection of religion and science have appeared on the homepages of several sites, including The Huffington Post, Nautilus, and Science and Religion Today.
Paul Root Wolpe
Considered one of the founders of the field of neuroethics, Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D. is a Professor of Bioethics at Emory University and serves as the first Senior Bioethicist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where he is responsible for formulating policy on bioethical issues and safeguarding research subjects. A futurist interested in social dynamics, Dr. Wolpe’s work focuses on the social, religious, ethical, and ideological impact of technology on the human condition.
Ting Wu, Ph.D.
Director and Co-founder of pgEd (Personal Genetics Education Project) and Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, Ting Wu leads pgEd’s mission to incrase awareness and conversation about the benefits and ethical, legal, and social implications of personal genetics. Dr. Wu’s research as Professor of Genetics studies the manner in which chromosome structure and behavior govern inheritance and genome activity.
Hot Buttons, Cool Conversations, JCC Greater Boston’s acclaimed discussion series, brings together distinguished scholars, artists and activists to engage in unique exchanges around controversial and difficult subjects. Nationally, and often internationally, renowned panelists are led by expert moderators through respectful and through-provoking discussions.
The 2017-2018 Season: Truth and Responsibly
This season puts truth and responsibility under a lens, exploring the pivotal role these tenets play in shaping a just, moral society for all. By examining truth and responsibility across a diverse set of issues, we’ll seek answers to critical questions that define us not just as a community, but as humans in a constantly and rapidly changing world.