February 10, 2021
Written by Public Relations & Communications Strategist Jill Wilson
Augustana University and The Center for Western Studies announced today that the 24th Boe Forum on Public Affairs featuring keynote speakers Drs. Robert Green and Jamie Metzl will be held virtually on Monday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. The event, originally scheduled for Monday, March 23, 2020, in the Elmen Center, was postponed due to the ongoing pandemic.
Hosted by President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, this year’s forum, “Are We Ready? The Science, Ethics, and Geopolitics of Genetic Engineering and Preventive Genomics,” will examine the relationship between genetics and health, the ability to predict and thereby prevent disease, and the geopolitics of genetic engineering and genomics. Herseth Sandlin will also moderate a question and answer session, which will feature questions from Augustana journalism and biology students, as well as graduate students in the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Program (ASGCGP).
Today’s scientists are studying how direct alteration of an organism's DNA can eliminate undesirable characteristics, produce desirable traits and be utilized to prevent health conditions. Preventive genomics can help discover treatment protocols for cancer, diabetes, and other diseases before symptoms appear.
As knowledge of gene coding grows, this information is becoming readable, writable, and hackable. It has the power to eliminate diseases, create bountiful crops to feed an increasing population, or even transform an entire ecosystem.
Speaker Dr. Jamie Metzl is a leading futurist who specializes in making revolutionary science understandable to the general public. He speaks regularly at some of the world’s most prestigious venues. His latest book, “Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity," explores the many ways genetic engineering is shaking the core foundations of our lives ― sex, war, love and death.
Dr. Robert C. Green is a renowned physician-scientist and professor of medicine (genetics) at Harvard Medical School and directs the Genomes2People Research Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Broad Institute. He is an internationally recognized leader in conducting research and developing policies to accelerate the implementation of genomic and precision medicine.
For information on how to access the virtual forum, please visit augie.edu/boe.
About the Boe Forum
Since its inception in 1995, the Boe Forum on Public Affairs has sought to provide access to individuals who can address events, issues, or problems of worldwide or national concern and broad public interest. Through the Boe Forum, The Center for Western Studies at Augustana University has hosted many of the world’s most influential leaders.