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December's Think Outside the Lunch Box to Discuss "18 Ways to Make a Baby"

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 147,260 fertility treatments took place across the United States in 2010, and more than one percent of all infants born in the U.S. are conceived using assisted reproductive technology. While such treatments have given hope to couples struggling with infertility, they also have raised many ethical questions and concerns.

Dick Connolly, professor of philosophy at the University of Evansville, will examine these issues in the final Think Outside the Lunch Box Faculty Speaker Series event of the year. His presentation, “18 Ways to Make a Baby,” begins at noon on Thursday, December 6, in the Blue & Gold Room on the first floor of Old National Bank’s headquarters in Downtown Evansville. The event is free and open to the public.

“In an age of donated eggs, donated sperm, and surrogate mothers, what counts as a parent, and what counts as a family?” Connolly said. “I hope people will carry away from this talk not a fear of the future, but a recognition of the complexity of the ‘brave new world’ of assisted reproduction and the need to think carefully before we act.”

Connolly, a native of Mt. Kisco, New York, holds a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College in Connecticut and a PhD in philosophy from Michigan State University. He has been a member of the UE faculty since 1971, having also served as a visiting professor at The University of Pittsburgh. He received the University’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year award in 1994 and the Sydney and Sadelle Berger Award for Service in 1998.

Connolly has authored articles on the 18th century Scottish philosopher David Hume and the philosophy of religion, and has presented papers on a variety of issues in ethics and applied ethics. Connolly also participated in an ethics seminar at Dartmouth College associated with the Human Genome Project. At the University of Evansville, he has taught courses such as Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of Science, Bioethics, and Environmental Ethics at UE.

UE’s Think Outside the Lunch Box Faculty Speaker Series is in its third year and is typically held the first Thursday of every month. To accommodate the University’s winter break, next month’s presentation will take place January 10, the second Thursday of the month.

Connolly will speak for about 30 minutes, with 15 minutes allotted for questions and answers. Attendees are welcome to eat lunch during the presentation. There is a restaurant conveniently located in the Old National Bank lobby.

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