Carter Snead of Notre Dame Law School and Lynn Wardle of Brigham Young University Law School, both nationally recognized legal scholars in the field of bioethics, will explore issues related to embryo rights and stem-cell research at an upcoming “Hot Topics: Cool Talk” forum at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

The forum, free and open to the public, will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, in Room 235 at the School of Law, located on St. Thomas’ downtown Minneapolis campus.

Carter Snead

The Hot Topics: Cool Talk series is sponsored by St. Thomas’ Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy. This is the second event in a series that provides a forum for dialogue on current political issues in a context divorced from the heat of a political campaign. Each program features two experts respectfully engaging in a civil discourse on a policy issue important to the 2012 election.

Snead and Wardle will discuss the moral and religious grounds for embryo rights, and will consider which public policies best respect these rights while recognizing the need for advanced medical research. There will be a question-and-answer period for the audience following the discussion. All are welcome to stay for a reception in the lobby after the program.

Snead is professor of law at Notre Dame Law School and the newly named director of the university’s Center for Ethics and Culture. He formerly served as general counsel for the President’s Council on Bioethics and as permanent observer for the U.S. government with the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Bioethics. He is serving a four-year term on UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee.

Lynn Wardle

Wardle is the Bruce C. Hafen Professor of Law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School of Brigham Young University, where he specializes in family law, constitutional law, and bioethics. Wardle served as president of the International Society for Family Law (ISFL) from 2000-2002 and currently serves on its executive council. A member of the American Law Institute, he is co-author of Fundamental Principles of Family Law (2002), and principal editor of a four-volume treatise, Contemporary Family Law: Principles, Policy, and Practices (1988).

For more information and to register, visit the Murphy Institute website. Continuing-legal-education credits will be applied for.

Future topics in the Hot Topics: Cool Talk series include: Health Care Reform, Challenges to Institutional Religious Liberty, Immigration Policy, Punishment Theory, and Rights of Workers. See  the schedule at the Murphy Institute website.