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TEOC Scholar Dr. Gregory Pence Tackles a Controversy in Medical Ethics

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- A UAB philosophy professor and expert in medical ethics will deal with some of the tough moral issues faced by researchers when he delivers the next Edge of Chaos Scholars lecture at The Edge of Chaos events venue on campus on Thursday at 3 p.m. 

Gregory Pence, who also has an academic background in psychology, will present a lecture entitled, "Is a Famous Study in Neuroscience like the Tuskegee Syphilis Study?" according to a news release from The Edge of Chaos on Monday. 

The lecture is free and open to the public. 

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study was an infamous clinical study conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service from 1932 to 1972. Researchers studied the progression of untreated syphilis in African-American men in Alabama who were misinformed about the nature of the study and thought they were receiving free health care. 

Pence was one of 26 UAB faculty members who were named as Edge of Chaos Scholars when the program was created in June. The scholars come from a wide variety of disciplines and offer lectures during the academic year.

"The only restriction placed on the scholars... is that the lecture not be boring," Edge of Chaos director David Hooks said in September.

Pence has taught in the UAB Department of Philosophy since 1976 and taught ethics to students in the School of Medicine from 1977 and 2011, according to his biography at a UAB web site. 

He won the Ingalls Award, UAB's highest award for teaching, in 1994, and won the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008. 

The aim of the Scholars Program is to bring together some of the finest minds at UAB to attack what the venue's web site calls the "wicked problems" that "plague communities" and are difficult to solve. 

The Edge of Chaos -- funded by the UAB School of Public Health -- is located on the fourth floor of Lister Hill Library.  

For more information, including a complete events calendar, go to