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Impossibly Perfect: The Pressures to Become Better Humans


Will stem cell therapies someday be used to bioengineer “designer” babies? And what’s happening to teen girls who face a “triple bind” to be caring, competitive, and flawless? Hear two provocative viewpoints — one rooted in the ethics of reproductive technologies, the other in psychology — that explore culture’s immense pressures in shaping who we are and pushing us toward perfection.


Charis Thompson

Thompson is Chancellor’s Professor and Chair of Gender & Women’s Studies, and a former founding director of the Science, Technology, and Society Center at UC Berkeley. She is an expert on the ethics of reproductive technologies and stem cell research. She read philosophy, psychology, and physiology at Oxford University, and got her Ph.D. from the Science Studies program at UC San Diego.

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Stephen Hinshaw

Hinshaw, professor and chair of the psychology department, is internationally recognized for his work on troubled children. The California State Psychological Association awarded him this year for his distinguished contributions. He is editor of Psychological Bulletin, the most cited journal in general psychology, and his latest book is The Triple Bind: Saving our Teenage Girls from Today’s Pressures.

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