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Whitehead event will explore impact of science on society

Justice Stephen Breyer of the US Supreme Court, Dr. Harold Varmus of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Eric Lander of the Whitehead Institute and Dr. Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania will be among 45 nationally recognized speakers at the Whitehead Institute's second major policy symposium on May 11-12.

The two-day program, titled "Genes and Society: Impact of New Technologies on Law, Medicine and Policy," is expected to draw more than 750 consumers, students, physicians, attorneys, corporate leaders and others to Kresge Auditorium.

The Whitehead Symposium is designed to meet the needs of opinion leaders from all walks of life who wish to explore the benefits and challenges emerging from today's rapid advances in the biological sciences.

In 13 sessions, panelists will join the audience in discussions on topics ranging from genetically modified foods and DNA forensics to the future of cancer research and behavioral genetics. Other topics include the business of genomics, stem cell research and therapy, and oversight of human subjects research in genetics.

In addition to the conference, Whitehead is offering a "Primer on Modern Biology" on Wednesday, May 10 at 4:30pm. Registration for the "Primer" is on a first-come, first served basis.

"Genes and Society" will help shape the course of public discussion about the future of science, law and society. Registration fees start at $25 for students. For more information, contact conference coordinator Gus Cervini at x8-0633 or

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 26, 2000.

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