Feminists and future persons

This is small-scale, a one-day workshop so not appropriate for the gendered conference campaign, but I write to call it to feminists’ attention so that a feminist perspective may at least be suggested to be brought to bear on population, future generations, and the ethics of deciding the values of potential lives.  (If you’re thinking, “oh, I’m not qualified,” then go re-read that paper you wrote on abortion or birth control, and rethink your position!)

First Call for Papers
One-Day Workshop on Population Ethics
March 26, 2011
McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Invited Speakers:
Gustaf Arrhenius (Stockholm)
Ben Bradley (Syracuse)
Rahul Kumar (Queens University, Kingston)
How do we decide the optimal size of future population? What is the
value of a future individual’s life? What do we owe to future
individuals? Is social contract with future individuals possible? Is
it better or worse to add an extra person to the world? How do we
weigh the life of a present person and the life of a future person?
This workshop will offer an opportunity to discuss these fundamental
ethical questions and to examine the recent theoretical discussions
provoked by Derek Parfit (Reasons and Persons), John Broome (Weighing
Lives), Tim Mulgan (Future People) and so on.
We invite highly qualified papers on any aspect of population ethics.
Papers should be suitable for blind-review and no longer than 5,000
words. Please send paper (PDF file preferred) and a cover sheet
including author name, title of paper, institutional affiliation,
email address and abstract, to Iwao Hirose iwao.hirose@mcgill.ca
Travel expenses (up to C$1,000) and accommodation (up to 2 nights) for
speakers will be covered.
Deadline for submission: January 7, 2010
(Notification of acceptance by February 4, 2011)
For more information, visit https://home.mcgill.ca/aggregation/grants/health/population2011/
This workshop is organized by Iwao Hirose (McGill)

Visa caps and UK universities

Another step in the Coalition’s apparent effort to destroy UK academia:

The coalition government’s immigration cap will restrict some universities to hiring fewer than 10 overseas academics this year and may damage the UK’s research capacity, critics have said.

For more, go here. Someone in HR told me that her university had decided it would not be able to hire any non-Europeans for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

(Thanks, C!)

Why Women Should Vote in the US Elections

In case it needed saying:

In the coming months, Congress is poised to make decisions about whether to extend unemployment insurance benefits, whether to repeal new provisions making it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage for people with preexisting conditions, and whether to invest in families struggling to make ends meet or instead spend massive amounts on tax breaks for the wealthy. Your vote can make a difference in these decisions.

Women are typically more likely than men to vote, and that has made an important difference in many elections, given that women also tend to vote for different candidates than men and favor more progressive policies. But this year, polling suggests that women are less enthusiastic than men about heading to the polls. Unmarried women, in particular, who turned out in record numbers in 2008, report that they are less likely to vote this year. If women don’t show up, we’ll all lose.

For more, go here.

The Sunday Cat loves a good story!


 A cat diedand went to Heaven. God met her at the gates and said, ‘You have been a good cat all these years. Anything you want is yours for the asking.’
 The cat thought for a minute and then said, ‘All my life I lived on a farm and slept on hard wooden floors. I would like a real fluffy pillow to sleep on.’
 God said, ‘Say no more.’ Instantly the cat had a huge fluffy pillow.
 A few days later, six mice were killed in an accident and they all went to Heaven together. God met the mice at the gates with the same offer that He made to the cat
 The mice said, ‘Well, we have had to run all of our lives: from cats, dogs, and even people with brooms! If we could just have some little roller skates, we would not have to run again.’
 God answered, ‘It is done.’ All the mice had beautiful little roller skates.
 About a week later, God decided to check on the cat. He found her sound asleep on her fluffy pillow. God gently awakened the cat and asked, ‘Is everything okay? How have you been doing? Are you happy?’
 The cat replied, ‘Oh, it is WONDERFUL. I have never been so happy in my life. The pillow is so fluffy, and those little Meals on Wheels you have been sending are absolutely delicious!’

{Thanks to Rosalind Hursthouse}