Florentine Renaissance philosopher Pico della Mirandola wrote in 1486 that humankind, with its own free will, differs from other animals in that it can choose to fashion itself into whatever shape it prefers. In the 16th century, Michelangelo's David depicted the ideal image of humanity as one of strength, confident courage and beauty.
What is the model of a perfect human and the ideal biosphere in the 21st century? With CRISPR-mediated gene-editing and other biotechnologies, such as embryo selection, age retardation and synthetic biology, humankind is on a threshold of choice to recreate itself and the rest of the living world according to its desires. Biotechnology expert Jim Bradley will discuss the benefits, risks and ethical quandaries of gene-editing and other biotechnologies during a talk at the University of Wisconsin-Barron County on November 9, noon to 1 p.m., in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall (R234). His presentation is part of the campus’ Thursdays @ the U Performance and Lecture Series.
Bradley, a Rice Lake High School graduate, earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at UW-Madison and his Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology at the University of Washington, Seattle. He taught undergraduate and graduate-level cell biology and bioethics at Auburn University in Alabama until his retirement in 2010. He continues to write about modern biotechnology and bioethics.
Thursdays @ the U series is free and open to the public. UW-Barron County is located at 1800 College Dr., Rice Lake. For more information, call 715-234-8176.