Leading experts on a range of global issues from East Timor to genetically modified food, bioethics, cloning, policing and media ethics will converge in Canberra tomorrow at the Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics Sixth National Conference.
More than 100 renowned national and international speakers will analyse a wide range of ethical questions posed by the theme The Moral Foundations of Civil Society.
Practitioners, academics, researchers and philosophers will come together at the forum to tackle the issues, highlighting moral and ethical facets, at Old Parliament House from Friday 1 to Sunday 3 October.
Hosted by Charles Sturt University’s Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics, the three-day event includes a dinner debate on the Republic Referendum between constitutional monarchy supporter the Hon Tony Abbott MP and the Australian Republican Movement chairman Malcolm Turnbull.
Director of the CSU Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics and Professor of Social Philosophy Seumas Miller said each of the many professional groups represented in the forum was bringing a different perspective to very complex issues.
"That’s the purpose of this event – to bring together the philosophers, academics and practitioners to put all the pieces together and talk about the issues as a whole, particularly all possible ethical and moral implications," Professor Miller said.
Speakers at the conference include:
- Former East Timor Consul and United Nations Accredited Observer James Dunn on East Timor in crisis and transition: Australian foreign policy reappraised.
- Professor Max Stackhouse, Princeton University USA – Moral obligations and justice in a global era: What are the obligations of foreign governments to the human rights abuse in other countries?
- University of Montana USA Practical Ethics Centre Director Professor Demi Elliott on journalists’ credibility - The John Laws episode and its ethical implications for the profession of journalism.
- ATSIC Chairman Gatjil Djerrkura – Indigenous Rights – Recognition and Reform, and Dr Janna Thompson from La Trobe University’s Philosophy Department – Historical Obligation, exploring what, if any, are the moral obligations of the present generation of white Australians regarding the wrongs done to Aborigines by past generations?
- Professor Zhang Xiaoming of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, addressing the ethical problems and prospects of State-owned industries in China.
- CSU policing studies lecturers Stephen Coleman and Richard Kocsis – The unexplored ethics of criminal psychological profiling: Secret science or propaganda machine?
- University of NSW senior lecturer in the philosophy and ethics of education Martin Bibby – Pre-embryonic identity and the placenta and Confidentiality, parents’ rights and education.
- Sin Doctors: The rise and crawl of the corporate ethicist by Virginia Tressider and Sean Regan.
- James Cook University Psychology and Sociology senior lecturer Dr Deborah Graham – The politics of drug use and abuse: Ethical implications.
- Nurses’ contribution to end-of-life care by University of Tasmania lecturer in bioethics Leila Shotton, and Pain relief and the causation of death in the context of palliative Care by general surgeon Edward Brownstein.
- Mr Mark Latham, MP (and author of Civilising Global Capital) – A new thinking about Citizenship, discussing the changing implications for the rights and duties of citizens of Australia in an increasingly global community.
- CSU Communication School lecturer Dr Edward Spence – Media ethics: The ethics of the lowest common denominator.
- USA National Association of Social Workers Office of Ethics and Professional Review manager Elizabeth Du Mez – Professional Review of Social Workers: What mix of monitoring and autonomy, forgiveness and punishment, is appropriate for social workers, responsible as they are for caring for society’s most vulnerable people, including the aged and the infirm?
- Scientists Professor Peter Langridge and Dr Judy Carman and philosopher Dr Adrian Walsh on the ethical problems associated with genetically modified foods.
- Jesuit Social Justice Centre director Fr Frank Brennan on the professional role of the clergy – What is the proper worldly role of the clergy – advocates for social justice?
- Designer Babies by Flinders University Centre for Applied Philosophy director Ian Hunt.
The conference will also launch the Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics – the first edition of which is a special issue on computer ethics. Topics covered in this first journal include: The development of computer ethics as a philosophical field of study; Evaluating the Pleasures of Cybersex; and When Trust Fails: The Black Hawk Accident.