University of Arizona

Victor J. Hruby, Regents Professor
Chemistry Department

Dr. Hruby has a passionate conviction that stimulating dialogue to break down barriers between science and religion is essential for the survival of the University and perhaps of society and the human species. This conviction impassions his life's work of human behaviors, including volitional behaviors that are thought to be anti-social or evil.

Why, despite all we know and all we profess, do we behave so badly? This question frames the basis for the project's course, and a campus-wide conference on the topic. The scientific discoveries in the chemistry and biology of life have made it increasingly possible to change the very essence of life, including what it means to be human and our ability to potentially change how humans behave. Hormones and neurotransmitters are primary chemical modulators of behavior, and are the target for perhaps as many as 50% of all current drugs. Thus, the examination of scientific and ethical questions related to efforts to modify human behavior will be explored, examining ethical, religious and philosophical issues which modern science poses as it finds ways to moderate and modulate human behavior. Faculty will be chosen from a variety of disciplines. An important goal is to make this project available to anyone who may be interested; Dr. Hruby sees the openness and idealism of the bright young people on campus as great potential for the beginnings of the dialogue, and the acceptance and understanding required to continue it.

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