Conversations That Matter: The Crossroads of Science and Human Dignity

The Notre Dame Science and Religion Initiative and the Office of Life and Human Dignity will host a free, three-part webinar series through fall 2021. This series will consider various scientific and theological perspectives about what it means to be human.

Science and technology are valuable resources for man when placed at his service and when they promote his integral development for the benefit of all; but they cannot of themselves show the meaning of existence and of human progress. Being ordered to man, who initiates and develops them, they draw from the person and his moral values the indication of their purpose and the awareness of their limits. (DV)

This webinar series is intended for a general audience. Each session will begin with a 10 minute presentation from each of 3 panelists, followed by time for Q&A. 


"What Does it Mean to be Human?”
Wednesday, September 29, 2021- 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time/5:00 p.m. Pacific Time 

Featured panelists include:

Melissa Moschella

Melissa Moschella - Associate Professor of Philosophy, Catholic University

Melissa Moschella is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America, and a Visiting Scholar at the Heritage Foundation’s B.K. Simon Center for American Studies. Her research and teaching focus on natural law, bioethics, and the moral and political status of the family. She is the author of To Whom Do Children Belong? Parental Rights, Civic Education and Children’s Autonomy (Cambridge University Press, 2016), and of numerous articles published in scholarly journals as well as popular media outlets, including Bioethics, The Journal of Medical Ethics, The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, The Journal of Law and Religion, The American Journal of Jurisprudence, The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, and The Public Discourse. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, received a Licentiate in Philosophy summa cum laude from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, and received her Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from Princeton University.


Daniel Kuebler

Dan Kuebler - Professor of Biology, Franciscan University

Dr. Dan Kuebler is a Professor of Biology and Dean of Natural and Applied Sciences at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio where he teaches courses on evolution, cell physiology, and neurobiology, as well as maintaining an undergraduate research laboratory that investigates the properties and applications of adult stem cells from human bone marrow and fat. He is the co-author of The Evolution Controversy: A Survey of Competing Theories (Baker Academic, 2007), a resource for cutting through the competing agendas to gain an unbiased understanding of the scientific issues involved in the debate surrounding evolution. He has also written on a variety of topics related to science, ethics, and public policy. In addition, he helped develop and currently oversees the Covid-19 testing program at Franciscan University.


Chris Baglow

Chris Baglow - Director, Science & Religion Initiative

Chris' leadership of the Science & Religion Initiative involves the creation and direction of programs that assist Catholic leaders in bringing the Catholic faith and modern science into dialogue for the sake of the New Evangelization.

Chris is from New Orleans, Louisiana. He graduated from Franciscan University in 1990, and immediately began a career in Catholic theological education that has spanned high-school, undergraduate, graduate and seminary teaching. After completing his M.A. at the University of Dallas (1996) and his Ph.D. at Duquesne University (2000), Chris was Junior Professor of Theology at St. Joseph Seminary College (2000-2003), the Sue Ellen Canizaro Chair at Our Lady of Holy Cross College (2003-2009) and Professor of Theology at Notre Dame Seminary (2009-2018). In 2005 he began his research in science and religion, and in 2009 published the first high-school textbook on the topic, Faith, Science and Reason: Theology on the Cutting Edge. From 2011-2014 Baglow directed the Templeton-funded Steno Learning Program in Faith and Science for Catholic Secondary Educators (SLP), a week-long seminar experience for Catholic science and religion teachers.

Register now


Please use the form below to submit questions for our panel in advance of our webinar on September 29. (Please note that submitting this form does not register you for our event. Registration must be done via the "Register Here" button above.)



"Questioning Gender: Medicine and Theology in Dialogue"  
October 2021

"Man, Machine, and the Future of AI"
November 2021 

Missed our previous series? Check out our recordings on the intersection of Racial Justice and Life Issues and the intersection of Justice and Pregnancy!