Free Science Lecture Series Kicks Off April 5 at UCR

Lectures will focus on gene editing in humans and other organisms

This image is a flyer for the event.

The 2017-18 UCR Science Lecture Series will focus on gene editing.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — The 2017-18 University of California, Riverside Science Lecture Series kicks off Thursday, April 5, with the first of four lectures focused on gene editing.

The series, called “Gene Editing: Are We Playing God?” will focus on the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing tool that is creating a buzz in the science world. It is faster, cheaper and more accurate than previous techniques of editing DNA and has a wide range of potential applications and challenges.

The lectures are sponsored by the UCR College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and the university’s California Agriculture and Food Enterprise. Each event will be held 6-7 p.m. at the University Theatre (Humanities 400).

Free parking will be provided in Parking Lot 6. Refreshments and prizes will be offered. The lectures will be live-streamed and recorded for viewing later. Instructions for connecting remotely will be available at

The following is a list of the lectures by UCR speakers:

  • April 5, 2018. “The Hope and Threat of Human Gene Editing.” Speaker: Martín García-Castro, associate professor of biomedical sciences, School of Medicine.
  • April 12, 2018. “Feeding the World: From Mendel to CRISPR.” Speaker: Carolyn Rasmussen, assistant professor of plant cell biology, College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences.
  • April 19, 2018. “LEGO, Language, and the Life of Bacteria.” Speaker: Ansel Hsiao, assistant professor of microbiology, College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences.
  • May 10, 2018. “Implications of Genetic Modifications in Humans and Other Organisms.” Speaker: Carl Cranor, distinguished professor of philosophy, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. This event includes a panel discussion with the series’ speakers.

Teachers interested in receiving professional development credit for attending the lecture series must make arrangements in advance with University Extension. The contact is Annette Webb, 951-827-1653 or To receive credit, teachers must attend all lectures in the series.

About the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS)

CNAS is home to world-renowned scholars pursuing research that deepens our knowledge of the universe we live in and improves the quality of life for inhabitants of the state, the nation, and the world. Central to this research is educating the students who come to CNAS to learn science, and who leave with an integrated grasp of how they can change the world. These students, and the faculty who teach them, benefit from a structure that is unique among land-grant colleges: CNAS’s 13 departments encompass the life, physical, mathematical, and agricultural sciences. This structure encourages an extraordinary degree of collaboration, reflected in the interdisciplinary research centers and the many cooperatively taught degree programs. Modern science is team based, and CNAS embodies that principle in everything it teaches and practices.

Media Contact

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