Challenging Nature
published by Ecco/Harper Collins, 2006
Professor of molecular biology and public policy in the Woodrow Wilson school of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University
Lee Silver photo
Princeton Courses
Recent Presentations
To see a sample 30 minute lecture, please contact Creative Well Inc.
Public Lectures and Appearances
2008 February 22. American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (Brussels, Belgium) Ethics, Science and Politics: The Stem Cell Debate. Lecture and Panel Discussion
2007 November 8. Galton Institute (London, England). Centenary Conference lecture
2007 November 6. International Policy Institute (London, England) Institute lecture.
2007 October 31. Beyond Belief: Enlightenment 2.0 (San Diego, CA).
2007 October 23. Secular Humanist Society (New York) Public Lecture: "The Human-Designed Biosphere: past, present, and future."
2007 October 4. Brown University (Providence, RI). The Janus Forum sponsored by the Political Theory Project, a debate with Francis Fukuyama on "Playing God? Biotechnology and the Future of Humanity"
2007 September 10. Agnes Scott College (Decatur, Georgia). McNair Ethics Lecture,Ethics Programís 2007-2008 speaker series: "Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humankind"
2007 June 15. Princeton Charter School (Princeton, NJ). Commencement Keynote Speaker
2007 June 6. Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ). Governor's Conference on Effective Partnering in Cancer Research.  Panel Discussion of the ethics of genetic testing.
2007 May 11. Johnson & Johnson Forum on Health Information, Genomics, and Ethics (Princeton, NJ). Organizer and moderator of panel discussion with J&J; Vice-Chair Christina Poon, Harold Shapiro, David Botstein, Uwe Reinhardt and others.
2007 May 5. Banbury Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (Cold Spring Harbor, NY). Conference on the Retreat from Reason: Threats to the New Bio/Technological Revolution. Keynote address.
2007 April 12. University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA). Visiting professor in pediatrics and bioethics. Pediatric Grand Rounds and the 2007 Medearis Lecture. "Human Nature, Reprogenetics and the Future of Humankind."
2007 March 28. Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ). The 2007 Stahl Lecture in Bioethics: "Remaking Human Nature: The Ethics of Genetic Enhancement."
2007 March 3. Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin, Germany). Historical and cultural aspects of cloning. Keynote lecture: "How cloning and genetic engineering could impact the future of the human species."
2007 January 23. The New York Academy of Sciences (New York, NY). "Use of Model Organisms in Drug Discovery. Keynote address: What Mice Can Tell Us About the Human Future."
2007 January 11. American Council on Germany (San Diego, CA). "Biotech to Biofuels: How New Technologies are Changing Transatlantic Relations" Keynote address: "Biotechnology and the Race between Europe, the United States, and Asia."What Mice Can Tell Us About the Human Future."
2006 November 22. Faculty of Political Sciences (Madrid, Spain). Ninth Forum on Social Trends: The social impact of the biotechnological revolution. Keynote address: "The Future Consequences of Innovations in Biotechnology."
2006 November 13. Oregon State University (Corvalis, Oregon). Food for Thought public lecture series: "Challenging Nature: The clash of biotechnology and spirituality."
2006 November 12. Cardoza Law School (New York, New York) Patenting People Symposium. Invited speaker: "Genes, cells, livers, legs, or beings: what defines humanness."
2006 November 8. Bates College (Lewistown, Maine). University lecture: "Challenging Nature: The clash of biotechnology and spirituality."
2006 July 14. Darwin Centennial Symposium on Unnatural Selection (Shrewsbury, England). Invited speaker: "The future of genetics and reproductive technologies."
2006 June 15. Challenging Nature book launch at the New York Academy of Sciences. (read a review of the lecture )
2006 May 25. New York City Atheists Association.
2006 May 19. Council on Foreign Relations (New York). Policy briefing: "Science, Religion and the Future of Biotechnology in America, Europe & Asia"
2006 April 29. Interact Theatre Comapny (Philadelphia, PA) "Reinventing Eden." A panel discussion on human genetic engineering.
2006 March 30. University of Pittsburgh School of Law (Pittsburgh, PA). Symposium on Designer Babies, invited speaker: "Science and politics of human genetic engineering."
2006 March 15. James Madison Institute, Said Business School, University of Oxford (Oxford, England). World Forum 2006 on Tomorrow's People, invited speaker: "The nature of human natures."
2006 March 8. Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, NJ). University lecture: "Challenging Nature."
2006 March 4. Woodrow Wilson School 75th Anniversary address (San Francisco, CA). "The Ethics of stem cell research."
2006 March 2. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA). Department of Biochemistry lecture: "Challenging Nature."
2005 December 6. Global Forum on Civilization and Peace in recogniation of the 60th Anniversary of Korean Liberation (Seoul, Korea). Public lecture.
2005 November 17. Institute of International Studies at the University of California, Berekeley (Berekeley, CA). University lecture: "Societal responses to emerging biotechnologies in America, Europe, and Asia."
2005 November 8. Princeton University Conference: "Blurry Vision: Bridging the Gap Between Science and the Public. Introductory Address.
2005 October 11. Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT). University lecture: "Challenging Nature: Biotechnology in a Spiritual World."
2005 October 6. University of Massachusetts (Amherst, MA). University lecture: "Biotechnology in a Spiritual World."
2005 May 8. Happy Chaos Symposium (Amsterdam, Holland). Keynote address: "Biotechnology in a Spiritual World."
2005 April 23. Graduate Student Conference sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, (Washington, D.C.) Keynote address: "Biotechnology in a Spiritual World."
2005 April 18. One-on-one debate with Professor William Hurlbut, member of President George W. Bush's Council on Bioethics, held at Princeton University. "The ethics of stem cell research."
2005 April 7. One-on-one debate with William Dembski of the Discovery Institute, held at Princeton University. "Intelligent Design, Is it science? No, it isn't."
2005 March 7. DeLange Conference on Frontiers in Medicine at Rice University (Houston, Texas). Keynote address: "Biotechnology in a Spiritual World."
2005 February 25. Western Regional Bioethics Conference at Arizona State University (Phoenix, AZ). Keynote address: "Why do bioethicists disagree?: A sometimes hidden spiritual component."
2005 January 30. Gender and Genomics Symposium at UCLA Center for Society and Genetics (Los Angeles, CA). Public lecture: "Sex, God and Unethical Behavior"
2005 January 13. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY). University lecture: "Biotechnology in a Spiritual World."
2004 December 2. Rutgers University Department of Genetics (New Brunswick, NJ). University lecture: "Ethical considerations in genetic research and technology."
2004 October 29. One-on-one "Fight Club" debate hosted by the International Design Society of America. (Pasadena, CA). "Should embryonic stem cell research be funded?"
2004 October 28. Choices and Challenges Forum at the Virginia Polytechnical Institute (Blacksburg, VA). University panel discussion and debate.
2004 October 13. Law and Science Seminar Series at Amherst College (Amherst, MA). College speaker.
2004 October 6. Interdisciplinary Bioethics Program at Yale University (New Haven, CN). University lecture: "Biotechnology in a Spiritual World."
2004 September 22. Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA).  Keynote address: "Biotechnology in a Spiritual World."
2004 August 17. United Nations University and the Korean National Commission for UNESCO (Seoul, South Korea). Invited lecture.
2004 June 10. Panel on Reproductive Technologies hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences (New York, NY). Public lecture and panel discussion.
2004 March 31. "The Pursuit of Perfection." Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life hosted by the Brookings Institute (Washington, D.C.). Panel lecture and response.
2004 March 25.  Symposium on Genomics, Health and Society hosted by the Government of Canada (Ottawa, Canada) Invited public speaker.
2004 March 15. The 21st Annual Bochner Lecture at Rice University (Houston, Texas). University Lecture: "Biotechnology in a Spiritual World."
2003    November 10.   Hillsdale College (Hillsdale, Michigan). Public Lecture.
2003    September 7. Institute of Systems Biology (Seattle, Washington). Keynote Speaker.
2003    September 6.   United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:   Bishop's Committee on Science and Human Values.(Washington, D.C.) Invited Speaker.
2003    August 11.   Roche Genetics Symposium (Zurich, Switzerland). Keynote speaker.
2003    July 13.   The Serono Symposium on Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (Santa Barbara, California).   Invited speaker.
2003    June 7. The Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine (Norfolk, Virginia). Keynote Speech.
2003 April 26. Institute of Ideas and Battersea Arts Centre Genes & Society Festival (London, England). Invited speaker.
2003 April 10. Boston University Conference "The Future of Human Nature." Opening Lecture.
2003 April 2. Boston University Great Debate on Reproductive Cloning (broadcast on C-SPAN).
2003 March 19. Duke University Center for Human Genetics (Durham, North Carolina). Public Lecture
2003 January 7. Santa Clara Law School Symposium on Humaning Cloning (Santa Clara, California). Invited speaker.
2002 June 29. Vail Valley Institute (Vail, Colorado). Symposium on Genetic Engineering. Invited speaker.
2002 June 15. Engelsberg Seminar on Consciousness, Genetics, and Society. Stockholm, Sweden. Invited speaker.
2002 June 6. Cornell University Genetics Department Retreat. Keynote speaker.
2002 April 1. Princeton University Bioethics Forum. "When does human life begin?"
2002 March 23. European Academy Otzenhausen (Germany). Colloquium on Evolution. Invited speaker.
2002 March 1. Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, NJ. Invited speaker
2002 February 28. Jackson Laboratory Governing Board (Philadelphia, PA). Keynote speaker.
2002 February 23. Fred Friendly Symposium for broadcast on PBS. Major speaker.
2002 January 26. Hastings Law Center Symposium on Human Cloning (San Francisco, CA). Invited Speaker
2001 December 11. Princeton University Symposium on Human Cloning and the role of an ethics advisory board. Invited respondent.
2001 November 9. Princeton University Center for the Study of Religion conference on "What Does It Mean To Be Human." Invited respondent.
2001 November 3. Symposium on Human Development at the University of Kobe in Kobe, Japan. Keynote Address.
2001 October 9. Televised public lecture on the future of humankind at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Spain.
2001 July 12. A roundtable discussion on Chronic Disease sponsored by the Pfizer Journal in Copenhagen, Denmark. Invited panelist.
2001 June 19. The Intersphere Forum Dinner for pharmaceutical industry executives. Keynote address.
2001 June 8. Princeton University Conference on "Darwin's Entangled Bank: The Cultural Legacy of Evolution." Invited respondent.
2001 May 17. Mitchell Conference on Human Genetics: "Genetic Manipulation and Cloning in Primates " at the University of Chicago. Invited speaker.
2001 May 16. New York University School of Medicine Master Scholars
Program. Invited colloquium speaker.
2001 April 5. Whig-Clio public debate on abortion at Princeton University. Debater.
2001 March 30. The Genetical Society of the United Kingdom conference on "Sex" in Warwick, UK. Invited speaker.
2001 March 11. MIT-Harvard Conference on Biotechnology in Society in Cambridge, MA. Invited speaker.
2001 February 25. 92nd Street Y one-on-one public conversation with Robert Krulwich from ABC Nightline.
2001 February 23. The Princeton University Bioethics Forum 2001 Intercollegiate Conference on the Ethics and Politics of Reproductive Technology. Invited speaker.
2000 October 3. Serono Symposium on "Robert G. Edwards at 75" in Venice, Italy. Invited speaker.
2000 April 15. Symposium on "Mexico's imminent future: Paradigms or Paradoxes" in Mexico City, Mexico. Invited speaker.
2000 April 7. Luso-American Foundation Symposium on "The Human Condition: Manipulating Human Life" in Lisbon, Portugal. Invited speaker.
2000 March 20. Symposium on "Animal Models of Human Disease" sponsored by the Center for Developmental Genetics at Stony Brook, New York. Keynote Speaker.
2000 March 6. One hour NPR sponsored two-person debate on "The New Reproductive Technologies," held at Carpenter Hall in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally on the "Justice Talking" program.
2000 March 5. Templeton Foundation Debate on "Extended Life, External Life" at the University of Pennsylvania. One of four debaters.
2000 February 20. Philadelphia Ethical Society. Invited speaker.
2000 February 16. Niagara Community College in Niagara, New York. Public Lecture.
2000 February 5. Big Sky Conference on Cancer Genetics in Bozeman, Montana. Invited speaker.
1999 December 3. "A Symposium on Race and Beauty" sponsored by the program in African American Studies at Princeton University. Invited speaker.
1999 November 19. New York University Law School conference on "Legislating Morality: The Debate over Human Cloning" in New York, NY. Invited speaker.
1999 November 17. Inaugural Centennial Lecture on Science and Society at Rockefeller University in New York, NY.
1999 November 11. Menorah Medical Center Symposium on "Medicine in the 21st Century" in Kansas City, Missouri. Invited Lecturer.
1999 November 9. Danish Council of Ethics and Copenhagen University conference on Genetic Engineering held before the Danish Ministry of Health in Copenhagen, Denmark. Keynote address.
1999 October 27. Federal Judicial Center Seminar for Federal and State Judges entitled “The Art of Judging: Perspectives of Science” at the Banbury Center of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York. Invited Speaker.
1999 October 19. The Irvington Institute in New York, NY. Public Lecture.
1999 September 14. University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA. Invited Public Lecture.
1999 September 3. International Symposium on Genetics and Reproduction hosted by the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun in Tokyo, Japan. Keynote address.
1999 August 22. The annual Jackson Laboratory course on "Experimental Genetics of the laboratory mouse" in Bar Harbor, Maine. Faculty member.
1999 August 1-7. Universidad Internacional Menendez Pelayo: Invited lecturer for a one week Curso Magistral on "Societal conflicts posed by new technologies in human genetics and reproduction" in Santander, Spain. Faculty member.
1999 July 27-28. Conference on Genetics, Identity, and Responsibility sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, The British Academy, the Mind Association, and the British Society for the Philosophy of Science in Cambridge, U.K. Plenary Speaker.
1999 June 10. The Gruter Institute Squaw Valley Conference on “The New Genetics and Reproduction: The Legal Response” in Squaw Valley, CA. Invited Speaker.
1999 June 5. Genetics and Genealogy: An International Forum hosted by The Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany. Invited Speaker.
1999 June 1. Boston University Conference on "Issues for the Millennium: Cloning and Genetic Technologies" in Boston, MA. Plenary Address sponsored by the The John Templeton Foundation.
1999 May 28. State of Berlin and Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine Congress on Biotechnology and Medicine in Berlin, Germany. Plenary Lecture.
1999 May 14. U. S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology Washington D.C. Invited Colloquium Speaker.
1999 May 12. Williams College Public Debate on Human Cloning in Williams, Massachusetts. One of four debaters.
1999 May 6. The Wall Street Journal Health Care Summit 99: Medicine, Business & Public Policy in Washington, D.C. Executive Roundtable discussion. Invited panelist.
1999 March 28. Annual Meeting of the International Human Genome Organization in Brisbane, Australia. Invited Panelist for a roundtable discussion of social and ethical implications of the human genome project
1999 March 12. Arizona State University Conference on Law, Science, and Technology: “Respecting Genetic Privacy” in Phoenix, Arizona. Invited Speaker.
1999 March 4. Ryder College in Lawrenceville, NJ. Public Lecture.
1999 February 4-5. Human Reproduction and the Role of International Law: A Texas International Law Journal Symposium in Austin, Texas. Invited Speaker
1999 January 20. Sweet Briar Winter Forum, Sweet Briar College, (Sweet Briar VA). Presidential Lecture.
1998 November 30. The New York City 92nd Street Y. Public Lecture.
1998 November 13. The Rutherford Institute Second European Conference on Megatrends in Human Rights Issues in Paris France. Invited speaker.
1998 October 28. Princeton University Public Lecture Series Panel Discussion on “Cloning: It’s here, do we want it?” Invited panelist.
1998 October 28. Federal Judicial Center Seminar for Federal and State Judges entitled “The Art of Judging: Perspectives of Science” at the Banbury Center of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York. Invited Speaker
1998 October 21. Panel led by Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia at the San Marino Conference on Immunology in principality of San Marino. Invited Panelist.
1998 October 19. Planned Parenthood Conference on “Insights into Women’s Health Issues in St. Petersburg, FL. Keynote Address.
1998 October 16-17. Princeton Alumni Studies Program on “Ethical and Moral Issues in a Changing Society.” Faculty Director, Speaker, and Panelist.
1998 October 8., Congregation Ahavath Torah in Tenglewood, NJ. Endowed Lecture on Biomedical Ethics.
1998 October 1. Hofstra University School of Law: The Joseph Kushner Distinguished Professorship Symposium on Cloning. Invited speaker.
1998 September 29. Mississippi State University. Presidential Lecture.
1998 September 20. Symposium on “Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine” In Squaw Valley, California. Keynote Speaker.
1998 August 22. Annual Board Meeting, Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. Keynote Address.
1998 August 7-10. Conference on “The Human Genome Analyzed: Ethical and Legal Problems Confronting Human Genome Research in Frankfurt-Oder, Germany. Invited speaker.
1998 June 24-27. Second Annual Conference on Cloning and Transgenics in Washington, D.C. Co-chair and speaker.
1998 May 18. Humanistic Jewish Forum, in Dearborn Michigan. Public Lecture.
1998 May 11. Washington National Cathedral Forum on Remaking Eden in Washington, D.C. Invited panelist with four other scholars to discuss my book.
1998 May 3. Planned Parenthood Executive Council Meeting on New Trends in Reproductive Technology in Washington, D.C. Invited speaker.
1998 April 28. Nassau Community College. Public Lecture.
1998 April 24. William Patterson University. Public Lecture.
1998 April 21. State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Presidential Lecture.
1998 April 18. International House, Columbia University. Public Lecture.
1998 March 20. UCLA Conference on the Engineering of the Human Germline in Los Angeles, CA. Invited Speaker and panelist.
1998 March 1. The University of South Carolina. The Townsend Lecture (endowed public Presidential Lecture).
1998 January 24. Institute of Contemporary Art in London, UK. Forum on Darwinian Thinking and the Family called Evolution Revolution. Invited Keynote Speaker
1998 January 22. Darwin Seminar, the London School of Economics in London, UK. Invited speaker.
1998 January 22. Science Museum, Imperial College in London, UK. Invited speaker.
1988 January 20. Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, UK. Forum on Remaking Eden.
1997 September 24–25. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Scientific Freedom, Responsibility and Law Program Forum on Human Germ-Line Intervention in Washington, D.C. Invited panelist.
1997 June 26-27. Conference on Mammalian Cloning: Implications for Science and Society in Washington D. C. Invited speaker.
1997 June 18. Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus on Cloning in Washington, D.C. Invited presentation before members of Congress and their staff.
1997 March 13. The New York State Senate Committee on Investigations, chaired by Senator Roy Goodman. Invited lead-off testimony on cloning.
1988 July 14. Invited Testimony on New Technologies in Human Reproduction before the Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations of the U.S. House of Representatives
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