Critical Issues Symposium 2014

Hello all! This past week has been pretty exciting. For one, the weather has been pretty warm so that’s always a bonus! Second, classes were cancelled on Wednesday because the Critical Issues Symposium took place. If you are unaware what CIS is, it is a day dedicated to focusing on a specific topic affecting the country. The topic is chosen by a committee of people around Hope as appointed by the President. CIS began in 1980 and continues until this day. Each year the topic varies greatly—when I was a freshman, the focus was on Islam, while sophomore year was on reconciliation. We didn’t have one last year but this year we had one called, “Technology and the Future of Being Human.”

This Wednesday I attended a talk titled, “Bigger, Stronger, Faster: The Use of Technology to Enhance Athletic Performance and Its Ethical Implications” presented by Dr. Chad Carlson. The reason I chose to attend this one specifically (you typically aren’t required to go to any unless a professor requests you attend) is because it’s focused around sports and kinesiology, which is my major. His presentation focused on the early days of technology, reaching back to the Ancient Olympics and how fire was the first technology used. A key point Dr. Carlson made was that nearly all technology can be used for benevolent and malevolent purposes, which proves to be very true. His talk then focused on current use of technology and what seems acceptable and what is not, such as the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Finally, Dr. Carlson ended with talking about technology and genetic enhancement, which really made me think that technology is very beneficial, but do people take it too far? Do they use it to replace and interfere with the efforts of Mother Nature? Overall, I truly enjoyed this presentation because it was thought-provoking and very relevant to society today.

I strongly encourage anyone who is interested CIS or just furthering their knowledge in topics affecting the world, to join in next year. If you are curious about it, please visit this site for more information. It’s a great opportunity to become exposed to various topics and concerns people have in the community and the effects they have on lives.

Have a great rest of your week and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @hopeleslie15.

Published by Leslie Kempers

Hey Everyone! My name is Leslie Kempers and I am from Santa Ana, California. I am a Senior this year and am majoring in Exercise Science so after my time here at Hope, I will be pursuing a career in physical therapy! I have previously been involved with Nykerk and CASA and am excited to see what this year has in store for me. This place has become my second home and I have cherished every moment here at Hope College. Go Dutchmen!!!

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