Ethics researcher Gregory Pence speaks this week at MSU

Contact: Addison Arledge

Gregory Pence (Photo submitted)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—An internationally recognized bioethicist will discuss the use of human subjects in research during a Sept. 23 program at Mississippi State.

Professor Gregory Pence’s address takes place 2-4 p.m. in 185 McCain Hall. Open to all, his presentation will inaugurate the 2016-17 Visiting Speaker Series of the university’s Department of Philosophy and Religion.

Pence, who leads the philosophy department at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, is a proponent of cloning and genetically modified crops.

A New York University doctoral graduate, he has testified before Congress against the criminalization of cloning. He also frequently has voiced his approval for the process during nationally televised news programs and in hundreds of op-ed pieces for major publications. For more, visit

“The opportunity to host a lecture by Gregory Pence is great for our department, our College, and the university,” said John Bickle, head of MSU’s philosophy and religion department.

“His work has been seminal internationally to bio- and research ethics for more than two decades. His lecture will continue to foster our university’s commitment to cutting-edge scientific research that meets the highest ethical standards, and philosophy’s contribution to that," Bickle added.

After providing details of a 2000 study of Romanian orphans by university researchers at Harvard, Maryland, and Tulane, Pence’s MSU presentation will:

—Explore whether one of the most famous studies in neuroscience has similarities to the infamous 1930s U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee.

—Examine why no institutional review board objected to the Romanian study; and

—Seek to answer why that study continues to be included in neuroscience courses as if it is ethically uncontroversial.

The philosophy and religion department is an academic unit of MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences. For more, see

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at