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How a Hormone Was Sold as the ‘Moral Molecule’ That Would Save Humanity - Christopher Lane

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When: Thursday, April 25, 2019
12:00 PM - 12:45 PM  

Where: Robert H Lurie Medical Research Center, 1st floor - Searle room, 303 E. Superior, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Myria Knox   312.503.7962

Group: Medical Humanities & Bioethics Lunchtime Montgomery Lectures

Category: Lectures & Meetings


The Master of Arts in Medical Humanities & Bioethics Program presents

A Montgomery Lecture


Christopher Lane, PhD
Professor of English
Member, Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities
Northwestern University

How a Hormone Was Sold as the ‘Moral Molecule’ That Would Save Humanity

From “cuddle chemical” to “moral molecule,” oxytocin has been lavished with descriptors that are scientifically misleading and inaccurate. Recent research even ties the hormone to race prejudice and ethno-nationalism, greatly complicating its contribution to neurobiological arguments about trust, altruism, and sociability. Even so, the hormone remains integral to current advocacy for “moral bio-enhancement,” a project built on heavy doses of idealism and promised empowerment whose actual effects, this talk argues, are more often disempowering, undemocratic, and prone to fail.

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