Tune in October 1, 2013, 10:00 am PT/1:00 pm ET to The Nancy Ferrari Show as the featured guest will be Rosalyn Berne, Ph.D., professor and author of her newly released book “When the Horses Whisper: The Wisdom of Wise and Sentient Beings”. Rosalyn Berne explores the intersecting realms between emerging technologies, science, fiction and myth between the human and non-human forms.
Rosalyn Berne grew up in Philadelphia where she attended Greene Street Friends School, then moved to Amherst, Massachusetts where she completed her secondary education. She moved to Virginia in 1975, completing BA and MA degrees in Communication Studies, followed by a PH.D in Religious Studies with a focus on bioethics at the University of Virginia. She has been a Charlottesville resident ever since. As Associate Professor of “Engineering and Society” at the University of Virginia Prof. Berne teaches courses in “Science, Technology and Contemporary Issues: Science Fiction and The Future,” & “Science, Fiction and New Reproductive Technologies.” She is recipient of the National Science Foundation Career Award, which for five years supported her research on ethics in nanotechnology development. Of scholarly interest to her are the role and function of the moral imagination, personal belief, mythology and metaphor in the pursuit of technological development. Also the nature of consciousness, the form it takes in other living species, and possibilities for its emergence in technological creations. Seeing the capacity of science fiction to provoke reflection and moral imagination, she both writes and teaches that genre.
Berne’s novel Waiting in the Silence (Spore Press, 2012) explores the meaning of procreation, privacy, aging and spirituality in a world where novel technologies have emerged from convergences of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information, neuro-and cognitive sciences. Its sequel, Walking on the Sea, is soon to be completed. She is the author of Nanotalk: Conversations with Scientists and Engineers about Ethics, Meaning and Belief in the Development of Nanotechnology (Erlbaum, 2005). Just completed is the book To Recreate Life from Life: Biotechnology and Science Fiction (Forthcoming Pan Stanford Press). As an edited volume it combines non-fiction essays written by scientists about their fields in biotechnology, with science fiction short stories authored by Rosalyn and other contributors. Taking a departure from her scholarly work in Science, Technology and Society, she has recently expanded her scope to include the genre of animal awareness, and body/mind & spirit. Her newest work, When the Horses Whisper, was released in September, published by Rainbow Ridge Books.
Dr. Berne has served on the advisory boards of the “Journal of Nanotechnology Ethics”, and “Journal of Nanotechnology Education.” She has been a guest on NPR’s “Science Friday,” and was a featured panelist on National Public Television’s Fred Friendly nanotechnology Seminars, “Power of the Small” in which she discussed societal and ethical facets of nanotechnology. She served previously as Head of Tandem Friends School; Vice President for Academic Affairs for the Institute for Shipboard Education; Director of Admission for the Darden School and Assistant Vice President for Administration at the University of Virginia. Her involvement in our local community has included many boards, most recently for the Center for Non-Profit Excellence in Charlottesville, Virginia.