What does it mean to be human?
The Palmer Seminary Science and Religion Symposium is an annual event, exploring the relationship between science and religion and the many ways that they impact our lives. This year's event will be held on our St. Davids Campus in the McInnis Auditorium between 9am and 5pm on September 24th, 2022.
This year, we will be asking the central question, "What does it mean to be human?" To help us approach an answer, we will spend the morning discussing human evolution. After lunch, we will look to the future of artificial intelligence and biological augmentation. Each session will feature a panel of local experts and a special keynote speaker. Admission is free and it will be livestreamed as well.
The symposium comes as part of Palmer’s selection to participate in the Science for Seminaries project. The project is made possible by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) through their Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program, in partnership with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
9:00a - Greetings and opening prayer
9:15a - Panel discussion on human evolution:
- Dr. Don Brash - Emeritus Professor of Historical Theology at Palmer Seminary
- Dr. Eloise Meneses - Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Eastern University
- Dr. Becky Hays - Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs - STEM at Montgomery County Community College
10:45a - Break
11:00a - Keynote presentation: Dr. Pete Enns - Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University
12:30p - Lunch
2:00p - Greetings and opening prayer
2:15p - Panel discussion on CRISPR gene editing and other cutting edge medical tech:
- Dr. Maria Fichera - Chair and Professor of Biology at Eastern University
- Rev. Dr. Charmaine Green - Community Program Coordinator for the Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University
- Final panelist TBD
3:45p - Break
4:00p - Keynote presentation: Dr. Kiran Musunuru - Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Genetics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD, MPH, ML
Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD, MPH, ML, is an Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Genetics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Musunuru studied and trained at Harvard University, Weill Cornell Medical College, The Rockefeller University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Johns Hopkins University, and University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the genetics of heart disease and seeks to identify genetic factors that protect against disease and use them to develop therapies to protect the entire population. In his recent work he has been using gene editing to create a one-shot “vaccination” against heart attacks.
Dr. Musunuru is an actively practicing cardiologist as well as a committed teacher. He is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Barack Obama at the White House, the American Heart Association’s Award of Meritorious Achievement, the American Philosophical Society’s Judson Daland Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Investigation, the American Federation for Medical Research’s Outstanding Investigator Award, and Harvard University’s Fannie Cox Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching. He recently served as Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine.
Dr. Peter Enns
Dr. Peter Enns is the Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University. He is a biblical scholar who teaches and writes on the Old Testament, New Testament, Second Temple Judaism, and the intersection of biblical studies and contemporary Christian faith. He has taught extensively at the seminary and doctoral levels (Westminster Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, Harvard Divinity School, Fuller Theological Seminary, Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Biblical Theological Seminary) and on the undergraduate level (Temple University and Messiah College). He speaks actively in academic and ecclesiastical venues on topics pertaining to the Bible and Christian faith. He has written or edited over a dozen books and many articles and essays.
He is the host of the "Bible for Normal People" podcast and is a renowned speaker on matters of the Bible, faith, and contemporary life.