I took some time off from my regular writing at Mind Matters News on China and technology so I could finish a couple of long-term projects. The first was a special report on the ethics of fetal tissue research, published on The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity’s website. CBHD’s extraordinary communications guy, Curtis, has been working behind-the-scenes on the website migrating all of the content before the summer conference. Next on his plate is formatting the special report with a PDF option. In the meantime, you can read the early web version here.
I have an article in Salvo Magazine on the ethics of using products that were either made from cell lines originally derived from fetuses aborted decades ago or were tested in these cell lines during the initial research phases. It’s a thorny issue and one that became an important news item while we were working on this special report. Edward R. Grant’s article in the special report delves into the ethics and the idea of “cooperation with evil.”
I am the managing editor and project manager for another collaborative bioethics project that I can’t say much about here, only that, yet again, I have the privilege of working with some brilliant people on an important bioethics issue. This project should be completed early next year.
Another big project I am working on is a fiction story for a friend’s monster anthology. The anthology is scheduled to come out around Halloween. My story is novella length, so I needed to get this monstrous thing done to give my beta readers and editors plenty of time to work with the text. No spoilers, but I will tell you that my fiction always touches on bioethics issues. I had the idea for this one a couple of years ago, during the BC times (Before Covid), when physician-assisted suicide laws were in the news.
Lastly, I am working on updating my website. Usually my web designer, Sarah Flashing, would be on this, but I am learning Word Press for a couple of my clients and I figured my site would be a good place to practice. Sarah does great work, so I take some solace in knowing if I mess things up too badly, she can probably fix it!
Below are some of my recent articles and recommendations.
Recent Articles and Podcast Interviews
“Fetal Tissue Research and Christian Bioethics: A Review of the Scientific Developments, Policy Landscape, and Ethical Considerations (2022 Edition)” CBHD Special Report, edited by Edward R. Grant, Heather Zeiger, and Michael J. Sleasman, May 2022
“Lines That Divide” Untangling Moral Complexities Related to Fetal Tissue Research Salvo Magazine Issue 61 (available by subscription)
“Digital Data Leaks Reveal Extent of Uyghur Oppression in China” Mind Matters News
“Learning from Dora and Diego” Dual-language kids’ TV programs can be an effective teaching tool, professors’ study finds. TCU Endeavors, Spring 2022
“Steering Past Trouble” TCU professor’s research employs trust-based interventions to help troubled youth. TCU Endeavors, Spring 2022
What I’m Reading and Listening To
Audiobook: A Tale of Two Cites, read by Paul Adams—This LibreVox recording is fantastic.
Podcast: Mind Matters Podcast—Robert Marks talks with IEEE Fellow and retired National Science Foundation program director Paul Werbos artificial intelligence. Werbos developed error backpropagations, which is all over the AI world.
New to me: Braver Angels, a group that seeks to bridge the divide by holding online debates, discussions, reading groups, films, etc.
Article People Are Talking About: “Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid” by Jonathan Haidt, The Atlantic
Bonus Book List
Culture Care by Mako Fujimura—nonfiction book on the arts and culture
The Lost Art of Dying by L. S. Dugdale, MD—nonfiction book on the Art of Dying
Mathematics for Human Flourishing by Francis Su—nonfiction book on how mathematics is good for human flourishing
The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson—an alternate history where all of Europe died from the plague, Christianity is a “blip” in history, and the world is defined by the flow of Eastern culture
What really frightens and dismays us is not external events themselves, but the way in which we think about them. It is not things that disturb us, but our interpretation of their significance.Epictetus