SOUTH BEND, IN — We are very pleased to bring to you the news just released by the University that the successor to Dr. David Solomon as Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture will be Professor O. Carter Snead of the Notre Dame Law School.
We have had our say about the dark implications of the forced departure of Dr. Solomon at the end of this school year. We put that aside now so as not to becloud our celebration of the appointment of Professor Snead.
There could not be a more welcome development. Professor Snead is superbly qualified to build upon the work of Dr. Solomon and his associates that has made the Center a focal point for Catholic intellectual life and the driving force for pro-life reflection and action on campus.
Professor Snead, a graduate of St. Johns College of Annapolis, Maryland and of Georgetown Law School, joined the Notre Dame faculty in 2005. His ability and work have been recognized and rewarded swiftly through promotion last year to tenured full professorship.
A brief University summary of his career tells something of his special qualifications for his new position:
Standing at the intersection of bioethics and the law, Snead writes, speaks and thinks deeply about the governance of science, medicine and biotechnology He is the former general counsel for the President’s Council on Bioethics…and the principal author of the council’s 2004 report on the regulation of new technologies affecting assisted reproduction, human embryo research and genetics. He recently was appointed to a four-year term on UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee, a body of independent experts that advises member states on bioethics, law, and public policy.
Coincidentally, we have drawn attention to Professor Snead’s work in our last two bulletins.
In our most recent bulletin, we singled out for commendation a recent article co-authored by professors Carter Snead and Gerard Bradley of the Notre Dame Law School and professor Helen Alvare of George Mason Law School dismantling the Administration’s recent proposed regulation that would require Notre Dame and a host of other Catholic organizations to provide health insurance coverage for contraception.
And in the immediately prior bulletin we praised the recent conference on stem cell research at Notre Dame organized by Professors Snead and Phillip Sloan. A video of Professor Snead’s conference address was among those we posted and that we now reproduce in the right hand margin. There is now special reason for you to view it.
For an especially rewarding insight into Professor Snead’s views, we draw your attention to his recent article on the primacy of life issues in the upcoming Presidential election.
In this article Professor Snead addresses the question whether it should matter “whether the 2012 candidates for president are pro-life” and the answer of many that it should not matter in light of “the vast array of other pressing issues facing the United States.”
Professor Snead responds that this attitude is “badly misguided” and that it is indeed “of paramount importance that the President of the United States be pro-life.” We leave to you the rewards and pleasures of reading his compelling explanation of why this is so.
For representative additional examples of Professor Snead’s work, see the following contributions listed on the University website:
Law school’s Snead says embryonic decision abandons moral neutrality
Law school Professor Snead dismayed by President Obama’s abortion funding decision
Law School’s Carter Snead praises Vatican bioethics document as eminently reasonable
Law professor sees abortion case as crucial
All can now look forward to a smooth and productive transition from the directorship of David Solomon to that of Carter Snead. Surely the future of the Fund for the Protection for Human Life, which has had its home in the Center, is no longer imperiled, nor is the Fund’s extraordinarily promising Project Guadalupe with its newly launched program of pro-life education. The Fund will doubtless continue its fine work under the leadership of Dr. Solomon as board chairman and with the assistance of its board, which includes Professor Snead.
This appointment has transformed next month’s annual conference of the Center from what would have been an occasion for unrelieved sorrow over Professor Solomon’s premature departure into one for celebration of his great work together with a grateful and hopeful welcoming of Professor Snead.