Virginia Tech Alumni Continuing Education Choices and Challenges K-12 Humanities, Science & Technology Learning Module Home

Panelists

Robert F. Murray, Jr.
Diane B. Paul
Gail S. Ross
Anita Silvers
LeRoy B. Walters

Video Introduction to the Panelists and Moderator

To download the latest version of Real Player Software, please click here.



Robert F. Murray, Jr.
physician

Chief, Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health; Chair, Graduate Department of Genetics and Human Genetics, Howard University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.; author of works on human genetics, including Genetic Variation and Disorders in Peoples of African Origin; member of advisory groups for the federal government and the National Academy of Sciences.

Detailed Biography:

Dr. Murray is a graduate of Union College, Schnectady, NY (BS) and the University of Rochester Medical School (MD). He is board certified in both internal medicine and medical genetics, his subspecialty. His interest in genetics began when he studied genetic markers which might indicate inherited susceptibility to disease during a tour of duty in the US Public Health Service at NIH. He further pursued his interest in genetics by earning a Master's degree during a 2 year fellowship in medical genetics at the University of Washington in Seattle.

After joining the faculty of Medicine at Howard University, he pursued genetic studies of alcohol metabolism and breast cancer. He also became in involved in programs of genetic screening, counseling and prenatal diagnosis with special emphasis on sickle cell disease. A major research interest has been the study of the psychological aspects of genetic counseling. More recently, he has been studying the use of genetic markers to identify individuals susceptible to injury from toxic compounds in the work environment and the effect of these compoounds on the human genome.

He is currently Chief of the Division of Medical Genetics in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, and Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine and Genetics. He is also Chairman of the Graduate Department of Genetics and Human Genetics in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences which sponsors graduate programs offering both the Masters and PhD degrees in genetics and the MS degree in Genetic Counseling. He is an active member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences.

He has served on the IOM governing council and also on several National Research Council and IOM taskforces and working groups. He is a fellow and member of the Board of Directors of the Hastings Center on Bioethics, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has served on special committees at NIH such as the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) and the Human Gene Therapy Subcommittee of the RAC and the Working Group on Ethics, Law and Social Issues (ELSI) of the National Center for Human Genome Research at NIH.

He is co-author with Dr. James Bowman of a book entitled Genetic Variation and Disorders in Peoples of African Origin published in 1990 by Johns Hopkins University Press. He has also co-edited 3 other books the most recent of which deals with the potential effect of the human genome project on heaslth care in the US. He has also served on a number of committees and advisory groups for the federal government and the National Academy of Sciences.


Top of Page

 


Diane B. Paul
political scientist

Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts at Boston; author of Controlling Human Heredity: 1865 to the Present, The Politics of Heredity: Essays on Eugenics, Biomedicine and the Nature-Nurture Debate, and other works on eugenics and human genetics.

Detailed Biography:
Diane B. Paul is Professor of Political Science and Co-director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and Research Associate in the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. She has been an Exxon Fellow at MIT, a fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, a Resident Fellow of the Humanities Research Institute of the University of California, and the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Paul is the author of Controlling Human Heredity: 1865 to the Present, The Politics of Heredity: Essays on Eugenics, Biomedicine and the Nature-Nurture Debate, and other works on eugenics and human genetics. Professor Paul's research interests include the historical and policy issues in science, particularly biology and biomedicine. She has published on the histories of eugenics and the nature-nurture debate, science in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, the politics of agricultural research in the U.S., and contemporary bioethical and policy issues in genetic testing . Her articles have appeared in a wide range of journals including Nature, Genetics, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Scientific American, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, The Journal of History of Ideas, Science in Context, and Social Research. She has received major grants from the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities.

Top of Page

 


Gail S. Ross
psychiatrist

Research Director, High-Risk Infant Follow-Up Program, and Chief Psychologist for the Child Development Program, the Early Intervention Program, and other clinics, New York Hospital, N.Y.; author of publications on infant and child development.

Detailed Biography:
Dr. Ross is the Research Director of the High-Risk Infant Follow-up Program at New York Hospital, as well as the Associate Attending in Psychology, and Director of the Pediatric Psychology Program. She is also and Associate Professor of Psychology in Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Cornell University Medical College. Her degrees include as BA in Psychology from Barnard University, an MA in Educational Psychology from the University of Chicago, and a PhD from Harvard University in Personality and Development.

She has served on numerous advisory boards, including the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) at NIH, and the Early Childhood Direction Center of New York Ciy.

 

Top of Page

 


Anita Silvers
philosopher

Professor, Department of Philosophy, San Francisco State University; author of books and essays on ethics and bioethics, aesthetics, feminism, disability studies, and public policy including Disability, Difference, Discrimination: Perspectives on Justice in Bioethics and Public Policy; first recipient of the California Faculty Association's Equal Rights Award.

Detailed Biography:
Dr. Silvers is a Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University, and the co-author of Disability, Difference, Discrimination: Perspectives on Justice in Bioethics and Public Policy and of Puzzles About Art. She has co-edited three volumes: Physician-Assisted Suicide: Expanding the Debate, The Recombinant DNA Controversy, and Sociobiology and Human Nature. She has authored many scholarly essays in ethics and bioethics, aesthetics, feminism, disability studies, and public policy, and she written on most of these subjects for the popular press.

Silvers is a member of the Board of Officers of the American Philosophical Association, a former member of the National Endowment for the Humanities' Council, and has served two terms as trustee of the Americn Society for Aesthetics. In 1978, Silvers was California's Distinguished Humanities Scholar, and in 1989 she was the first recipient of the California Faculty Association's Equal Rights Award for her work inmaking higher education accessible to people with disabilities.

 

Top of Page

 


LeRoy B. Walters
bioethicist

Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. Professor of Christian Ethics, and Director, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.; past Chair, Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, National Institutes of Health; author of The Ethics of Human Gene Therapy and other books and articles on ethics and medicine.

Detailed Biography:

LeRoy Walters was born in Illinois and spent his elementary and secondary school years in Pennsylvania. He attended a small Pennsylvania liberal-arts college, Messiah College, receiving his B.A. in 1962. After finishing a B.D. degree at the Associated Mennonite Seminaries in 1965, Walters studied for two years in Germany, one year at the University of Heidelberg and one year at the Free University of Berlin. While in Berlin, he also helped to organize East-West conferences in East Berlin, the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia, and Poland.

In 1967 Walters returned to the United States and began a Ph.D. program in the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University. He finished his Ph.D. in Christian ethics in the spring of 1971 on the topic "Five Classic Just-War Theories: A Study in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas, Vitiria, Suarez, Gentili, and Grotius. His dissertation received the Theron Rockwell Field Prize from the university. During the summer of 1971, Walters joined the newly-established Kennedy Institute of Ethics and its Director, Andre Hellegers, as the first faculty member appointed to a multi-year term. He has remained a member of the Kennedy Institute since 1971.In 1975, Walters received an appointment as Assistant Professor of Philosophy. He was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 1980 and the rank of Professor in 1993. In the latter year he was also named the Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. Professor of Christian Ethics at the Kennedy Institute. During the summer of 1996 Walters accepted a three-year term as Director of the Kennedy Institute.

Since 1975 Walters has been the editor and co-editor (with Joy Kahn) of the annual Bibliography of Bioethics (22 volumes to date). He is also co-editor (with Tom L. Beauchamp) of an anthology entitled Contemporary Issues in Bioethics (4th ed., Wadsworth, 1994). In late 1994 Walters and co-author Julie Gage Palmer published a book entitled The Ethics of Human Gene Therapy (Oxford University Press, 1997). Much of Walters’s research has been devoted to ethical issues in human genetics. He teaches courses on "Ethics and Human Genetics" and "Eugenics and Ethics." He has also served for three terms on the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee of the National Institutes of Health. From 1993 through 1996 he served as Chair of the committee, which reviews human-gene-therapy protocols.

 

Top of Page

 



Project Director: Doris T. Zallen
Project Co-Director: Eileen Crist
Project Coordinator: Mary Ellen Jones
Research Associates: Jane Lehr & Jonson Miller

For more information, contact the

Choices and Challenges Project
Center for Interdisciplinary Studies
Virgina Tech, Mail Code: 0227
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: 540 231-6476 Fax: 540 231-7013
Email: choices@vt.edu

 


VT Home Page

Center for Interdisciplinary Studies
Program in Science and Technology Studies
Last Updated: March 2002
URL: http://www.cddc.vt.edu/choices/modules/children_panelists.htm
Website Coordinator

 

All original material is a product of the Choices and Challenges Project
with support from the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at Virginia Tech.