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Ethics After Darwin

Ethics After Darwin: Ethics and Public Policy in the Light of Evolutionary Theory
DePauw University
April 26 - 28, 2011


This conference brought together scholars from three areas of study: evolutionary science, ethics and public policy. These visiting scholars, along with DePauw faculty and students, addressed such questions as what are the ethical precepts implicit in Darwin’s theory and how can these ethical principles be applied to public policy decisions. During the three-day conference, these ideas were applied specifically to the history of evolutionary theory and its relevance to public policy as it relates to gender issues and conservation. Through workshops, conversations, lectures, and informal interchanges among all the participants, we hoped to reach a deeper understanding of the intersection of evolutionary theory, ethics and public policy.


Tuesday, April 26

9-11 a.m.

11:30 a.m.


4:15 p.m.


7:30 p.m.

Workshop session 1

Lunch with students

Class visits

The History of Darwin's Idea, How it Started and Where it is Now (Melvin Konner and Janet Radcliffe Richards). Click here for video of full session.

Evolution and Gender: Ethics and Public Policy (Julie Seaman and Patty Gowaty). Click here for Julie Seaman's lecture.

Wednesday, April 27

9-11 a.m.



4 p.m. 

7:30 p.m.

Workshop session 2

Lunch with faculty and conversation on "A New Evolutionary Ethic?"
Class visits

Conservation and Evolution: Ethics and Public Policy (Stephen Hubbell and Sahotra Sarkar). Click here for Sahotra Sarkar's lecture.

Evolution, Ethics and Equality (David Sloan Wilson). Click here for lecture video.

Thursday, April 28

9-11:30 a.m.


Workshop session 3 and wrap up



This conference was made possible by the generous support of the the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, the Blair A. and Teresa O. Rieth Lecture Fund, The Gertrude and G.D. Crain Jr. Lecture Fund, The John Templeton Foundation and the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics.