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Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome News, January 1991; 2(5)

Genetics, Religion, and Ethics Initiative Holds Conferences

Among the spin-off studies and activities of the Human Genome Project is the unique, 3-year initiative "Genetics, Religion, and Ethics." The undertaking is designed to provide an ongoing inquiry and creative dialogue among some 150 genetic researchers, physicians, ethicists, theologians, public policymakers, and representatives of churches and religions interested in the uses of data produced by genetic science.

As the first stage of the project, a conference was held March 30-April 1, 1990, at the Institute of Religion of the Texas Medical Center in Houston. Groups formed at this conference are now meeting in Chicago, Boston, Washington, and Houston to study identified social, ethical, and religious questions arising from the Human Genome Project. The second conference, using position papers prepared by the four groups, will take place in Houston March 13-15, 1992; the project will conclude with preparation and distribution of a book for use by the scientific, medical, and religious communities, as well as the general public.

Speakers at the March 30-April 1 Conference

  • J. Robert Nelson
    (Director of the Institute of Religion, Texas Medical Center)
    "Changing Concepts of Human Life, Nature, and Identity"
  • Francis S. Collins
    (Director of the Center for Genome Research, University of Michigan)
    "Implications of the Human Genome Project for Medical Practice"
  • William R. Hendee
    (Vice President for Science and Technology, American Medical Association)
    "Public Attitudes Toward the Human Genome Project: Endorsement, Indifference, Opposition"
  • John C. Fletcher
    (Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Religious Studies, University of Virginia)
    "The Ethical Futures of Autonomy and Privacy in a World Where the Human Genome Is Mapped."
  • C. Thomas Caskey
    (Director of the Institute for Molecular Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine)
    "Updating the Human Genome Project"
  • Robert M. Cook-Deegan
    "Updating Public Policy"

Religious Perspectives Represented

  • Albert Moraczewski
    (Pope John XXIII Medical-Moral Research and Education Center, Houston)
    The Roman Catholic Church
  • Stanley S. Harakas
    (Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, MA)
    The Greek Orthodox Church
  • Hartwig von Schubert
    (World Council of Churches, Heidelberg, Germany)
    Protestant Churches of Europe
  • Maimon M. Cohen
    (University of Maryland Medical School)
  • Hassan M. Hathout
    (The Genetics Institute)

Initiative Contact:

  • J. Robert Nelson
    Texas Medical Center
    P.O. Box 20569
    Houston, TX 77225


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The electronic form of the newsletter may be cited in the following style:
Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v2n5).

Human Genome Project 1990–2003

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international 13-year effort, 1990 to 2003. Primary goals were to discover the complete set of human genes and make them accessible for further biological study, and determine the complete sequence of DNA bases in the human genome. See Timeline for more HGP history.

Human Genome News

Published from 1989 until 2002, this newsletter facilitated HGP communication, helped prevent duplication of research effort, and informed persons interested in genome research.