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Upcoming Events at the Institute

Spring Symposium

Rosemont College, as part of its plan to keep the community healthy and safe from the coronavirus, is proactively cancelling the Institute for Ethical Leadership and Social Responsibility’s  Symposium scheduled for March 20.


Banner for the movie A Dangerous Idea

This year, the Institute for Ethical Leadership and Social Responsibility’s symposium consists in a screening of the film A Dangerous Idea: Eugenics, Genetics and the American Dream, followed by a panel of distinguished scholars and scientists who will discuss the themes highlighted in the film.

A Dangerous Idea tells the story of how claims about discoveries of genes for intelligence, poverty, and crime offer pseudoscientific explanations and justifications for discrimination and rapidly rising rates of economic inequality. Such claims have their origin in the rise of social Darwinism in the late 19th century, and the film traces the influence of this ideology on the subsequent eugenics movement and the great injustices and human tragedies that have been perpetrated in the name of the “gene” over the past century.

Keynote Speaker

Stephanie Welch, keynote speaker.Stephanie Welch is a documentarian and executive director of Paragon Media, a nonprofit media organization that is the co-producer of A Dangerous Idea, for which she served as writer and director.

Welch is also the senior producer of the award-winning syndicated program Bioneers Radio: Revolution from the Heart of Nature. She co-produced the radio documentary Biowars: First Do No Harm, which won a NFCB Silver Reel Award. Welch is also audio engineer for Women Rising Radio.

Panel Participants

Dr. Jeannette Dumas.Jeannette Dumas is Associate Professor of Biology at Rosemont College and coordinator of its environmental programs. Dr. Dumas established the Center for Hydroponics and Sustainability in the Biology Department in 2017, and has maintained an active research group of students in aquatic ecology called the “Stream Team” since 2013. She is the original faculty advisor for the student club “Rosegrow: Environmental Action Team” that has now partnered with other departments on campus.

Dr. Dumas was a fellow at the Institute for Ethical Leadership and Social Responsibility during the 2018-19 academic year, where she developed a curricular unit on the evolution of morality for her course on evolution. She is very passionate about dispelling misconceptions about evolutionary theory and believes that it could provide humanity with a biological basis for universal kinship.

Quayshawn Spencer.

Quayshawn Spencer, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his PhD at Stanford University and specializes in the philosophy of science and biology, with interest in Newtonian studies, philosophy of race, and ethics. The author of a number of articles on race and biology, Dr. Spencer is the co-author of What is Race? Four Philosophical Views (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019).


Bill Tucker.William Tucker, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University, Camden.Throughout his career, he has studied the misuse of social science to support oppressive social policies, especially in the area of race, seeking to explore how scientists in general, and psychologists in particular, have become involved with such issues and what effect their participation has produced. Dr. Tucker has authored numerous articles and book chapters, as well as several books critical of race science.

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