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Release: April 20, 1999

Human cloning is subject of April 27 UI symposium

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- "Human Cloning and Genetic Engineering" is the subject of the 1999 Paul D. Scholz Symposium on Technology and its Role in Society to be held from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 27 in the Second Floor Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union.

The symposium will include three talks followed by a panel discussion. According to April Rathe of Tau Beta Pi, a national engineering honors society that is co-sponsoring the event, the symposium will offer the public an opportunity to participate in the public debate on the technology and ethics of human cloning and genetic engineering.

The featured speakers, all internationally recognized experts in their fields, are:

* Randall Prather, associate professor of animal science at the University of Missouri-Columbia, speaking on the technological process in his talk, "Development of the Cloning/Nuclear Transfer/Transgenic Technology."

* Mark Eibert, practicing attorney in California, giving a proponent speech "The Case for Human Cloning."

* Glenn McGee, associate director (education) and assistant professor of bioethics in the Center for Bioethics of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, following with an opposing speech, "Fabricated Humans: Should We Create Ourselves?"

Prather's research disciplines include reproduction physiology and molecular biology and transgenic pigs. He has published several articles on the cloning process including "Progress in Cloning Mammalian Embryos" and "Cloning Mammals by Nuclear Transfer." In 1997 he received the Outstanding Research Award of the American Society of Animal Science-Midwestern Section.

Eibert is nationally known as an advocate for the rights of infertile people. In addition to appearing in national and international news media and testifying before Congress on the issue of cloning, he has written articles about cloning legislation, including, "Clone Wars — The Forces of Government Gather in Fear of Hypothetical Clones" and "Human Cloning, Infertility and Reproductive Freedom."

McGee's credentials on the subject of bioethics are extensive, including authorship of books, The Human Cloning Debate, Pragmatic Bioethics, The Perfect Baby: A Pragmatic Approach to Genetics; and service as senior editor of the MIT Press "Basic Bioethics Books" series. He has discussed bioethical issues on CNN and in other national news media and given more than 100 named lectures around the world. He is on the editorial boards of several journals in bioethics and medicine and writes a weekly column for MS-NBC Online. Among his many positions, McGee is a Senior Research Fellow at the Kennedy Institute for Ethics at Georgetown University and an appointee to the new (1999) National Molecular and Clinical Genetics Advisory Committee.

Following the presentations, the speakers will participate in an audience interactive panel discussion with two panelists from the University of Iowa. The panelists are: Robert Olick, associate professor of law and faculty member in the University of Iowa's Program for Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities; and Amy Sparks, director of the Reproductive Testing and In Vitro Fertilization Laboratory at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

The 1999 symposium is the 30th annual technology symposium. The event was renamed in 1993 in honor of Paul D. Scholz, who received numerous awards for his teaching and served as advisor to Tau Beta Pi for 20 years and as associate dean of engineering from 1979 until his death in 1992.

The symposium, free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the University of Iowa chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the UI Student Government Association, and the UI College of Engineering. For more information, visit the Tau Beta Pi website at: or contact the organization at (319) 335-5764.