Environmental ethicist Rolston to present annual Witherspoon lecture

Holmes Rolston III, widely recognized as the father of environmental ethics as a modern academic discipline, will speak on “Genes, Genesis and God” as he presents the third annual Witherspoon Lecture in Religion and Science at 4 p.m. March 25 in the Arts & Sciences Laboratory Science Building, Room 300.

The next day, Rolston will join Ursula W. Goodenough, Ph.D., professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, for a roundtable discussion at 4 p.m. in McDonnell Hall, Room 212. Their exchange will explore “The Human Relationship to Nature: Are We a Part of Nature or Apart From Nature?”

Rolston, the University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Colorado State University, has devoted his career to the development of a philosophical interpretation of the natural world. He is regarded as one of the world’s leading scholars on the philosophical, scientific and religious conceptions of nature.

His body of work and his role as a founder of the influential academic journal Environmental Ethics have been instrumental in establishing, shaping and defining the modern discipline of environmental philosophy.

Rolston has published widely in his field, including three key books: Philosophy Gone Wild (1986), Environmental Ethics (1988) and Conserving Natural Value (1994). Rolston has also written in philosophy of science and religion more generally, including his 1987 book Science and Religion: A Critical Survey.

He is associate editor of the journal Environmental Ethics and serves on the editorial boards of a number of other journals, including Environmental Values.

The Witherspoon Lecture Series was made possible by a grant in 2000 from William Witherspoon, a retired investment banker and a past student and teacher at University College in Arts & Sciences. His gift was motivated by a deep interest in both science and religion.

Rolston’s lecture and the roundtable discussion are free and open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by the Religious Studies Program in Arts & Sciences; the roundtable is co-sponsored by the Department of Biology.

For more information, contact Iris Wright at 935-7752 or go online to artsci.wustl.edu/~relst/index.