How do visual representations
of human embryos and fetuses influence our views of reproduction?
How do these images shape public debate about when human life
begins? How do they affect the science of human reproduction and
reproductive technology? Experts from the fields of developmental
biology, medical and biological visualization, and art will address
these questions and others in a panel discussion titled "In
Utero: Imaging and Imagining," set for Thursday, March 6,
at 7:30 pm in Gamble Auditorium. Preceding the discussion and
in connection with a Mount Holyoke College Art Museum exhibition
of her photographs, titled Suspended Animation: Photographs
by Rosamond Wolff Purcell, panelist Rosamond Wolff Purcell
will give a gallery talk. The talk will be held at
The panel discussion is part of The Political Embryo: Reconceiving Human Reproduction, a semester-long series that features a wide-ranging discussion of the scientific, ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding new and developing human reproductive technologies. The series is sponsored by the Harriet L. and Paul M. Weissman Center for Leadership and supported by the class of 1958 and the Katherine B. Fitzgerald Lecture Fund.
The history of the visual representation of human embryos and fetuses is one of many areas panelists will address. With this panel, says Morgan, "our intention was to invite a group of panelists who use images of embryos and fetuses as a part of their daily work. We chose people who do not have an explicit political agenda, yet are citizens of this world and are concerned about how the images are going to be used and interpreted."
Scott F. Gilbert, Howard A. Schneiderman Professor of Biology at Swarthmore College, teaches developmental genetics, embryology, and the history of biology. He is the author of the best-selling textbook Developmental Biology, now in its seventh edition, and he continues to do research and write in both developmental biology and in the history and philosophy of biology.
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