Author Archives: Tia Powell

Middle School Science

Palo Alto was buzzing last month over the unfortunate case of 11 year old Colman Chadam [i]. Colman was settling in and making friends at a new middle school, until school administrators determined that the bantam-weight fifth grader posed a threat to other students and should be transferred across town. Authorities deemed Colman threatening because […]


Genetic Kits for Consumers and the Role of the FDA

The other day I landed on the website of 23andMe. To my surprise, I learned that if I wanted to send the company a sample of my DNA, I’d have to swear under penalty of law neither to collect my sample in nor to mail it from New York State. That’s because New York State […]


Justified Restrictions on Religious Freedom

The Obama administration’s decision regarding Catholic institutions and coverage for reproductive health has stirred up a firestorm of claims that the policy restricts religious freedom. That’s true: the policy does restrict religious freedom to an extent. But while freedom of religion is surely a principle Americans hold dear, it is not absolute. Religious rights end […]


The Bioethics of Circumcision

The Religion and Bioethics seminar explores the role and interaction of religion and medical practices, always examining reading from a range of viewpoints. This week’s session looks at similarities, differences and controversies surrounding male and female circumcision. Male circumcision is familiar to all in the US and has had a long history of general acceptance. […]