Should genetic tests be advertised directly to the public? Should biotech companies be in favour of, or against, legislation that limits research? Who should have a say in a biotech corporation's decisions on these matters? Should ethics be part of a biotech company's strategy?

Biotechnology is the application of basic biological knowledge for the advancement of human health and well-being. The fact that biotechnology presents challenging ethical and social choices for policy makers and life scientists is well acknowledged. The ethical challenges that biotechnology poses for corporations in the life sciences are less well understood. This panel will be focused on this latter set of questions, exploring what it is that corporations can do to act responsibly in this complicated domain.


Rahul K. Dhanda, author of Guiding Icarus: Merging Bioethics with Corporate Interests (Wiley-Liss, 2002).

Bryn Williams-Jones, Centre for Family Research, Faculty of Social & Political Sciences, University of Cambridge

Chris MacDonald, Department of Philosophy, Saint Mary's University

[See speaker bio's & pictures, below]

For more information, contact Chris MacDonald ( )

Presented in association with Saint Mary's University and the Atlantic Centre for Ethics and Public Affairs



Rahul K. Dhanda is Director of the Bioethics Program at Interleukin Genetics (of Waltham, MA), Chair of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council's Bioethics Advisory Group, and author of Guiding Icarus: Merging Bioethics with Corporate Interests (Wiley-Liss, 2002). He holds three patents, and is a Fellow at Harvard University's National Center for Digital Government. He began his biotech career at Harvard Medical School, developing technologies for rapid, DNA-based cancer screening. After serving in an academic laboratory, he moved to private industry, where he has worked for numerous biotechnology companies, focusing primarily on microarray development, the physical chemistry of DNA, molecular haplotyping and various other molecular biology projects.


Bryn Williams-Jones is a Post-doctoral & Junior Research Fellow, Centre for Family Research, Faculty of Social & Political Sciences, and Homerton College, University of Cambridge. He has written on such topics as health policy, commercial genetic testing, and ethical dimensions of the relationship between universities and industry. He is co-editor of The Commercialization of Genetic Research: Ethical, Legal and Policy Issues (Kluwer, 1999).


Chris MacDonald is Assistant Professor of Philosophy in Saint Mary's University's Philosophy Department. He is also President of the Canadian Society for the Study of Practical Ethics, and a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Business Ethics. He has published widely on ethics-related topics ranging from cloning and stem cells through corporate social responsibility.




Planning and coordination services for this event were provided by Trapeze: Balancing Business & Life