Humanize From Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism

Dr. David Prentice on the Ethics of Science, Stem Cell Therapies, and Biotechnology

Wesley J. Smith
Dr. David Prentice
Audio File (93.4M)
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It has been said that the 21st century is the century of biotechnology. And that has certainly proved to be true. From embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, adult stem cell therapies, gene editing of babies, and research that blends human and animal DNA into a single organism, biotechnology offers both hope of great scientific advances to alleviate human diseases—and distinct ethical perils that would treat nascent human life as a thing to be molded like a clay pot.

Wesley’s guest, Dr. David A. Prentice has been at the epicenter of these scientific and ethical debates for twenty years, a biologist with an engaging talent for making the scientifically complex facts of science understandable, and the ethical issues that abound comprehensible to a lay audience.

Prentice and Smith’s conversation ranges across the biotechnological spectrum, from the embryonic stem cell debates of the George W. Bush presidency, to the question of using fetal parts obtained from abortions in experimentation, and the lack of ethical restraint in tinkering with the human genome that could lead to morally monstrous outcomes. It is a crucial discussion. Few areas of public controversy have a greater potential—for both good and ill—to impact the human future.

Dr. David A. Prentice is one of the world’s premier scientists and public advocates arguing for both safe and ethical biotechnology. He is Vice President and Research Director for the Charlotte Lozier Institute and an Adjunct Professor of Molecular Genetics at the John Paul II Institute, The Catholic University of America. He was a Founding Advisory Board Member for the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center in Kansas. In 2020, he was appointed by the Secretary of HHS to the federal Human Fetal Tissue Ethics Advisory Board. 

He is an internationally recognized expert on stem cell research, cell biology and bioethics, and has provided scientific lectures and policy briefings in 40 states and 21 countries, including testimony before the U.S. Congress and numerous state legislatures. He received the 2007 Walter C. Randall Award in Biomedical Ethics from the American Physiological Society, given for promoting the honor and integrity of biomedical science through example and mentoring in the classroom and laboratory.