"I wanted these guys to have the tools to engage
in conversation about these issues
I wanted them to learn to ask
the important first questions."
From the Editor
from the Colleges mission statement
One of the most promising features of the Colleges new science building is its proximity to the humanities department in adjacent Center Hall. The Colleges oldest and newest classrooms exist practically side-by-side. Professors and students from the religion and philosophy department look right into the second floor of the biology and chemistry departments, and folks from the science building peer right back.
The possibilities for collaboration this arrangement suggests is an essential feature of a liberal arts college in the 21st century, for at no time in history has it been more important for these disciplines to be engaged in constant dialogue.
Last spring, 15 students began that dialogue as they engaged some of todays most challenging issues in the Colleges course on Bio-Ethics. Taught by philosophy professor Cheryl Hughes and comprising 11 science majors, seven pre-med students among them, the course examined the hot-button topics of the day, including cloning, genetic engineering, euthanasia, and the place of spirituality in medicine. But Hughes wasnt looking to simply examine and debate these issues.
I wanted these guys to have the tools to engage in conversation about these issues, says Hughes in Engaging the Issues. But rather than be seduced by the technology, locked in the debate of whether or not to use it, I wanted them to learn to ask, Why? I wanted them to learn to ask the important first questions.
In this issue youll meet students, alumni, and faculty asking those important first questions about a wide range of ethical issues, witness to the fact that the Colleges mission to educate men to think critically and live humanely is more crucial than ever in this difficult world.
are your thoughts?