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For Immediate Release (01-22)
Date: March 14, 2001
Contact: Steve Simon 240-567-7952

Montgomery College to Host April 11 Town Meeting on "Who Gets the Good Genes? Promise and Perils of the New Genetics"
Leading Authority on Social Implications of Human Genetic Engineering,
Dr. Troy Duster, to Provide Keynote Address

Genetic science offers great hope for the cure of disease, but it also raises the specter of eugenics movements and questions about efforts to design human beings. To explore these issues, a panel of top experts in the field will engage honors biology students from Walter Johnson H.S., along with Montgomery College students, faculty, and the general public in a lively roundtable discussion and open mike forum as part of Montgomery College’s upcoming third annual Town Meeting on Wednesday, April 11, from 6:30–8 p.m. A pre-forum reception, to which the public is invited, will be held at 6 p.m. The event will be held in the Theatre Arts Arena on the Rockville Campus.

Dr. Troy Duster, a nationally known authority on the social implications of human genetic engineering will provide the keynote address.

Dr. Duster is chancellor's professor of sociology and director of the American Cultures Center at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also professor of sociology at New York University and a member of the Institute for the History of the Production of Knowledge at NYU. He served on the Committee on Social and Ethical Impact of Advances in Biomedicine, Institute of Medicine and as chair of the joint NIH/DOE advisory committee on Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in the Human Genome Project. His writing includes Cultural Perspectives on Biological Knowledge and Backdoor to Eugenics, a book on the social implications of the new technologies in molecular biology.

Dr. Duster will be joined by panelists William Soderberg, professor of philosophy at Montgomery College, Rockville, and Joan Weiss, founding director of the Genetic Alliance and co-director of the Human Genome Education Model Project. Forum moderator is Dr. Mary Furgol, chair of the department of history and political science at Montgomery College, Rockville Campus.

The Town Meeting is the culminating event of Community Conversations, a Montgomery College/Montgomery County Public Schools learning community in which students in multiple classes engage in common study of a significant theme.

For more information on the Town Meeting, contact Professor Marcia Bronstein at 240-567-1369; e-mail

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