posted March 28, 2003

Talk to Examine Ethics of Stem Cell Research

One of the nation's most celebrated experts at explaining biological science so that everyone can understand it will be soon be speaking in Holland at a "Genetics Awareness Conference" on Tuesday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Room B50 of the Peale Science Center at Hope College.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Sam Rhine, director of the Genetic Ed Center in Indiana, will address some of the ethical issues that accompany research on stem cells as scientists continue to extend the human life expectancy, try to produce human body parts in the laboratory, and develop cells to treat many human medical conditions.

Rhine is marking his 20th year of making presentations on molecular biology and genetics all across the U.S. and Canada. He also has spoken in London, Tokyo, Prague, Nairobi, Vienna and St. Petersburg.

The Hope College Division of Natural Science Outreach Program has invited him to speak because of his ability to explain the latest information on human genetics simply and effectively, according to Donald Cronkite, professor of biology at Hope. Cronkite has seen Rhine in action at meetings of biology teachers on many occasions.

"One national organization of biology teachers honored Sam with an Honorary Membership Award, the highest award they give, and that was for his unique ability to make complicated molecular genetics understandable," Cronkite said. "Sam scours over 1500 scientific articles from over 50 journals monthly to make sure every presentation has the very latest information. Almost every conference has information published within the last 30 days, sometimes within the last 24 hours."

Rhine specializes in informing teenagers and has spoken to more than 3.5 million high school students at 8,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada. "But if you have a chance to hear a Sam Rhine presentation, don't stay away because you're not a teenager," Cronkite said. "There is vital information for everyone, especially those who want to understand how to live morally in light of current information about stem cells and other work in modern biology."

The Peale Science Center is on College Avenue at 12th Street. Room B50 is on the lower level of the building. Refreshments and informal discussion will follow the talk.