Bioethicist S. Matthew Liao to Speak on March 1

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., February 21, 2017—A New York University philosopher and bioethicist S. Matthew Liao will present the annual Weiss Lecture, “Tackling Climate Change through Human Engineering,” Wednesday, March 1, at 7 p.m. in Griffin Hall, room 3, on the Williams College campus. This event is free and open to the public.

In his lecture Liao will discuss a “new kind of solution to climate change,” namely biomedical modifications to humans that might enable them to adapt to the world’s changing climate. Liao argues that human engineering may be potentially less risky than other currently accepted solutions such as geoengineering, and that modifying humans could also support proposed behavioral and market solutions. Liao will also consider possible ethical concerns regarding human engineering that are at play, and how to address them.

Currently the Arthur Zitrin Chair of Bioethics, director of the Center for Bioethics, and affiliate Professor of Philosophy at New York University, S. Matthew Liao is the author of several books, including The Right to Be Loved, Moral Brains: The Neuroscience of Morality, and Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights. Liao is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Moral Philosophy, and the founder of “Ethics Etc,” a group blog on contemporary philosophical issues. His work has been featured in the The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Guardian. Liao has also given multiple TED and TEDx talks.

The Andrew B. Weiss Lecture on Medicine and Medical Ethics was endowed by the late Andrew B. Weiss ’61 and his wife, Madge Weiss. This event is hosted by the Oakley Center for Humanities and Social Sciences.


For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel, or call the Office of Communications (413) 597-4277. The map can also be found on the web at