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Newark-Area H.S. Students Interested In Nanoscience Will Take Part In Residential Bioethics Institute Funded By Merck & Co., Inc. July 5-11

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(Newark, N.J.) — The Merck-Rutgers Summer Institute in Bioethics is not the typical summer program for the typical high school student.  Selected students live on the campus for an intense weeklong introduction to bioethics issues related to new and emerging technologies, with this year’s focus on nanotechnology, nanomedicine and nanoscience.  The students, all high-achieving Newark-area high school students who attend for free, take part in critical thinking workshops each day, improve their writing skills and take part in a mock trial, working with students from the Rutgers Law School-Newark.

Along the way, explains Dr. Jeff Buechner, “They will be exposed to career opportunities in medicine, law, public administration, scientific research, education and business; savor the university experience; and interact with many Rutgers-Newark faculty, as well as outside faculty and members of the business and scientific communities.”  Buechner is institute director and a member of the Rutgers-Newark Philosophy Department.

This marks the fourth year that Merck & Co., Inc. has funded the Merck-Rutgers Summer Institute in Bioethics at Rutgers University in Newark, and the first that it is being administered through the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers-Newark.

The program begins Sunday, July 5, with an overview of the program and
preliminary discussion. From Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., the students’ days will be filled with workshops, breakout group, films and discussions, and a mock trial involving an ethical issue related to nanotechnology. The institute ends on Saturday with a presentation of student projects, awards presentation and closing dinner.

The institute is a cross-disciplinary effort, involving faculty and staff members from several departments and units on campus. In addition to Buechner, they include: Dr. Anna Stubblefield, chair, Philosophy Department; Dr. Robert Nahory,  a media restoration expert at the John Cotton Dana Library and formerly a Bell Labs laser physicist; Diane Hill, director, Campus and Community Relations; and Rutgers University Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor Barry Komisaruk, Psychology Department, who also is associate dean, Graduate School-Newark.

Funding for this project was facilitated by Jennifer Taylor Smith, director, corporate and foundation relations, Rutgers University Foundation.