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>  News Releases >   2003 >   April

Dartmouth conference examines moral courage

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 04/09/03 • Contact Sue Knapp

Stressful circumstances can reveal heroism. For example, in the months following the September 11 attacks, the world learned of many stories of selfless courage. What drives this behavior?

On Saturday, April 12, Dartmouth's Ethics Institute will host a free, daylong conference entitled "Examining Moral Courage." The event will take place from 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m. in Filene Auditorium, Moore Hall, and is supported by the Tucker Foundation, the Dickey Center and the Jewish Studies Program.

"The human spirit responds to hope... I'm sure people who come to this event will leave inspired."

-Aine Donovan

"Examining Moral Courage" will explore the cultural, situational and personal factors that support acts of moral courage. Speakers include those who have responded to moral challenges and acted in exemplary ways as well as scholars who have tried to understand what motivates courageous behavior. Through example and insight, the conference aims to explore how society and educational institutions can foster the development in young people of a commitment to moral courage.

"This event highlights a positive aspect of examining ethical issues," says Aine Donovan, Executive Director of the Ethics Institute. "We're not highlighting the latest scandal or controversy; instead we're celebrating extraordinary acts of moral courage. We want our students to emulate and learn from our panelists; these are ordinary people, who, when faced with difficult choices, rose to the challenge and made the right choice."

Panelists scheduled to attend are: Abigail Baird, Dartmouth assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences; Victoria Barnett, author of Bystander Ethics; David Kaczynski, brother of Ted Kaczynski, the "Unibomber"; Marion Pritchard, Holocaust rescuer; Susan Rescorla, widow of Rick Rescorla, 9/11 hero; Leon Sheleff, author of Social Cohesion and Legal Coercion; and Hugh C. Thompson, Jr., 1968 My Lai, Vietnam, hero and Soldier's Medal recipient.

"The human spirit responds to hope," says Donovan. "I'm sure people who come to this event will leave inspired."

More information about "Examining Moral Courage" can be found at the Ethics Institute Web site.

- Susan Knapp

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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