Experts in ecology and theology will discuss the environmental policies surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as part of the next Hot Topics: Cool Talk debate hosted by the University of St. Thomas Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy.

The event will be held at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, in Room 235 of the School of Law building on the university’s downtown Minneapolis campus at 1000 LaSalle Ave. It is free and open to the public. Co-sponsor is the law school’s Environmental Law Society.

Dr. Christopher Thompson

Dr. Christopher Thompson

Tackling GMOs from theological and scientific perspectives are Dr. David Andow, professor of insect ecology at the University of Minnesota, and Dr. Christopher Thompson, academic dean of St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas.

Andow teaches courses in insect ecology, population ecology and ecological risk assessment. His research interests include ecological risk assessment of biological stressors, science policy associated with GMOs, ecology of natural enemy food webs in agricultural crops, and the use of vegetational diversity in the conservation of natural enemies. He is the coordinator of the International Project on GMO Environmental Risk Assessment Methodologies (GMO ERA Project) and is an international delegate to the Brazilian Entomological Society FAO (food and agriculture organization).

Dr. David Andow

Dr. David Andow

In addition to his role as academic dean, Thompson teaches moral theology at the School of Divinity. He has written on the subjects of moral theology, psychology, marriage and family, and the importance of the environment, and has a particular interest in the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. He serves on the boards of the Chapelstone Foundation, National Catholic Rural Life Association, and the International Catholic Rural Association, and oversees a native prairie restoration project in central western Wisconsin.

The Hot Topics: Cool Talk series explores Catholic positions and other perspectives on provocative issues of law and public policy. This year’s topics include abortion and sexual equality, the financial crisis, disability law and deinstitutionalization, and progressive politics and religious freedom.

The schedule for the entire series can be found on the Murphy Institute’s website.