The COVID Vaccine: Good Science and Science for the Human Good

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The COVID-19 virus has killed over 460,000 people in the United States and over 2 million worldwide. The scientific community developed multiple vaccines in record time. Yet, many have raised questions about the science and ethics of the vaccines. 

The Notre Dame Office of Life and Human Dignity and the Science and Religion Initiative address the science of vaccines and the ethical implications of the COVID vaccine in light of our shared responsibility for the common good of our community. 

This discussion is for a general audience, and begins with a 10 minute presentation by each panelist followed Q&A from the viewers.

This event is co-sponsored by the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, the Society of Catholic Scientists, and the Harvard Catholic Forum.

View the webinar below!

Watch additional Q&A responses from the panel here



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.


Brett Photo

Brett Salkeld

Archdiocesan Theologian, Archdiocese of Regina

Brett Salkeld is Archdiocesan Theologian for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina, where he is responsible for deacon formation. Brett is the author of Can Catholics and Evangelicals Agree about Purgatory and the Last Judgment?, How Far Can We Go? A Catholic Guide to Sex and Dating (with Leah Perrault), and, most recently, Transubstantiation: Theology, History, and Christian Unity. He is currently working on a book for Catholic teachers tentatively titled Making Every Class Catholic. His work has been featured on Church Life Journal, Word on Fire, Crux, Busted Halo, and more. 

Brett is a sought-after speaker on a wide range of topics of interest to the Catholic faithful. He serves the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) as a member of the Roman Catholic - Evangelical Dialogue in Canada. His weekly podcast, Thinking Faith! (with Deacon Eric Gurash), is available wherever you get your podcasts and you can follow him on Twitter at @BrettSalkeld. Brett has a large catalog of blog posts at both Vox Nova and Ask-a-theologian. Brett was baptized in St. Wenceslaus Parish in Gerald, Saskatchewan, where he grew up. He and his wife Flannery live with their seven children in Regina. 



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.

Additional Learning Opportunity

Sigrid Jacobsen, Kate Slevin, and Nathan Stibrich (all of Archbishop Mitty High School, San Jose, CA) present a lesson plan discussion on “The Vaccination Debate: Conscience & the Common Good.” The lesson plan is designed for a high school science class but can be easily adapted for a theology class. The creators of this lesson plan will explain the details of the plan and answer questions from the audience.

Watch the lesson plan presentation here

Access the lesson plan here