Past Events

October 10, 2016

Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary Announces Symposium on CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Gene Editing

CRISPR-Cas9 is a new technology that allows quick and precise gene editing of everything from food to cancer to humans. There are hopes that this newfound "molecular surgery" could lead to the potential eradication of such diseases as malaria and AIDS. Questions are arising as to the appropriateness of altering the human genome. Where will CRISPR take us? Should we go there? The Barnes Science and Faith Symposium will take on these questions and address key practical issues on this timely and controversial topic. Hosted by Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary, this free symposium will be held from 4 to 8:30 p.m. October17 in Smith Hall/Lake Auditorium at 2301 Westside Drive, North Chili.

At 4:00 p.m., distinguished lecturer, URMC professor and Associate Director of the Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute Dr. Joseph Miano will briefly introduce the fascinating timeline of discovery related to CRISPR and its most recent applications, as well as the challenges that must be overcome to fully capitalize upon this incredible biological innovation.

At 7:00 p.m., Dr. James Peterson, Schumann professor of Christian ethics from Roanoke College, will provide the keynote address, discussing the ethical parameters of human gene editing by raising key practical questions, then proposing four common cautions and four crucial questions to evaluate cases of human gene editing.

This event is hosted by Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary through the generous support of Dr. David and Avis Barnes. Barnes, professor emeritus in biology, taught at Roberts from 1970 to 2004. Avis Barnes, his wife, taught in the Pavilion School District for 30 years. For more information on this symposium or to register, go to, email or call 585.594.6134.