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Quebec Government Deplatforms Daniel Weinstock (updated)

Daniel Weinstock, a philosopher on the Faculty of Law at McGill University and director of the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy, was disinvited by the Quebec government from speaking at a meeting about reforming the mandatory ethics and religious culture course taught in the province’s schools. Professor Weinstock was falsely described earlier this week in a Le Journal de Montreal column by writer Richard Martineau as having expressed support for a type of “symbolic” form of “female circumcision.” Martineau criticized the Quebec government for inviting Weinstock to speak at the meeting. Shortly after the column’s publication, Quebec’s education minister, Jean-François Roberge, cancelled Weinstock’s appearance at the meeting. Weinstock has not supported female circumcision, not even in its “Seattle Compromise” form. He told CTV: “I think that no compromise should be made with female genital cutting at all.” Martineau apparently mistook Weinstock’s description of a position regarding female circumcision for advocacy of it. Yesterday, the columinst, Martineau, admitted that is column was inaccurate, but refused to apologize, according to CTV. Despite being made aware of the inaccuracy, education minister Roberge refused to reinstate Weinstock’s invitation to speak at the meeting, which is taking place today. UPDATE (2/24/20): Roberge apologizes to Weinstock. The post Quebec [More]

Quebec Government Deplatforms Daniel Weinstock

Daniel Weinstock, a philosopher on the Faculty of Law at McGill University and director of the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy, was disinvited by the Quebec government from speaking at a meeting about reforming the mandatory ethics and religious culture course taught in the province’s schools. Professor Weinstock was falsely described earlier this week in a Le Journal de Montreal column by writer Richard Martineau as having expressed support for a type of “symbolic” form of “female circumcision.” Martineau criticized the Quebec government for inviting Weinstock to speak at the meeting. Shortly after the column’s publication, Quebec’s education minister, Jean-François Roberge, cancelled Weinstock’s appearance at the meeting. Weinstock has not supported female circumcision, not even in its “Seattle Compromise” form. He told CTV: “I think that no compromise should be made with female genital cutting at all.” Martineau apparently mistook Weinstock’s description of a position regarding female circumcision for advocacy of it. Yesterday, the columinst, Martineau, admitted that is column was inaccurate, but refused to apologize, according to CTV. Despite being made aware of the inaccuracy, education minister Roberge refused to reinstate Weinstock’s invitation to speak at the meeting, which is taking place today. The post Quebec Government Deplatforms Daniel Weinstock appeared first on [More]

Philosopher Appointed to Federal Advisory Committee on Biosecurity

The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) is a federal advisory committee that “addresses issues related to biosecurity and dual use research at the request of the United States Government.” According its website, the NSABB “has up to 25 voting members with a broad range of expertise including molecular biology, microbiology, infectious diseases, biosafety, public health, veterinary medicine, plant health, national security, biodefense, law enforcement, scientific publishing, and other related fields.” It can now add “moral philosophy” to that list. Alex John London, the Clara L. West Professor of Ethics and Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University, will be joining the NSABB. He announced on Twitter, “Today I signed a letter accepting the invitation from the Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve on the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB). I will do my best to serve with integrity.” Professor London’s research has focused on “ethical and policy issues surrounding the development and deployment of novel technologies in medicine, biotechnology and artificial intelligence, on methodological issues in theoretical and practical ethics, and on cross-national issues of justice and fairness.” You can learn more about his work here, and more about the work of the NSABB here. The post Philosopher Appointed to Federal Advisory Committee on Biosecurity appeared first on [More]

Les Gilets Jaunes and the Hierarchy of Environmental Needs

"France is in flames" writes Alexander Finer in this article about Les Gilets Jaunes or "Yellow Vests" protests. Finer argues that the root of the controversy partly lies in a lack of awareness on the part of the French government to recognize how certain policies affect the ability of vulnerable parts of the population to meet basic felt needs. He roots his argument in Maslow's hierarchy which, he believes, can help us better understand what is fueling the discord as well as be used to facilitate a solution. [More]

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