News release
Public Information Office   SLU 10880   Hammond, LA 70402   phone: 985-549-2341   fax: 985-549-2061 Spring 2004 news releases Public Information home News archive

Contact: Christina Chapple
Date: 4/1/04
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From left, Betty Attaway-Fink, Peter Petrakis, Mary White
      HAMMOND -- A new annual forum sponsored by Southeastern Louisiana University’s College of Arts and Sciences will debut April 6 with a look at the often controversial topic of stem cell research..
      The college’s first “Arts and Sciences Colloquium” will examine “Stem Cell Research: Science, Politics and Media” from 1-3 p.m., Tuesday, April 6 in the Student Union Theatre. The colloquium is free and open to the public. 
      “Stem cell research is an important issue about which most Americans know relatively little,” said the event’s chair William Robison, head of the university’s history and political science department. “The purpose of the colloquium is to provide information from several professional perspectives.” 
      Robison, who will moderate the colloquium, said three Southeastern professors will be featured as panelists. Biological sciences professor Mary White will examine stem cell research’s scientific aspects, while political science professor Peter Petrakis will look at the issue’s constitutional, legal, and political dimensions. Communication professor Betty Attaway-Fink will discuss how the news media handles science stories in general and stem cell research in particular. 
      Robison said each panelist will make a 20-minute presentation. The presentations will be followed by a  moderated question-answer session. 
      “This is not a program in which the panelists will advocate a particular point of view, nor is it a debate among the panelists or between the panelists and the audience,” he said. “Experts in three relevant academic disciplines will provide factual information that will allow audience members to develop more informed opinions about stem cell research.”
      In addition to illuminating a particular topic each year, the Arts and Sciences Colloquium series will also highlight the college’s academic departments and expertise, and “demonstrate that the best way to become an informed citizen is to acquire the kind of broad-based education in the arts, humanities, and sciences,” Robison said.
     For additional information, contact Robison at 985-549-2109.