Past Plans, Future Potential

by The Center for Bioethics and Culture on May 16, 2019

The following remarks were given by CBC Board Chair David Pauls, M.D., M.A., at the 2019 Paul Ramsey Award Dinner. Remarks from the 2019 Paul Ramsey Award Winner, Patrick T. Smith, Ph.D., can be found here.

Dr. Pauls speaking at podium
CBC Board President David Pauls, M.D., M.A.

I’d like to thank you all for attending tonight on this beautiful Saturday evening. I’ve met many of you at previous Ramsey award dinners and I’d like to thank you for your continued support of the CBC. For those of you here for the first time, I thank you for attending and hope that you have had an enjoyable evening.

I was digging through some old files earlier this week and found an embryo. The embryo of the CBC – the organizational plan and proposed bylaws and articles of incorporation, dated January 2000. And just like looking at a picture of an embryo under the microscope and comparing it to a grown adult, it is amazing what potential was there but could not be seen. The embryonic picture of the CBC had a budget of $22,000. The focus was reaching out to friends on the West Coast, mainly northern California, and trying to provide education and resources on a host of bioethical issues of the day. 2000 was a notable year for debating stem cells and what the proper use of embryos was.

Since then, the budget is now around $300,000, almost a 14-fold increase. And while that is, as we would say in the research business, a statistically significant change, the overall impact and voice of the CBC has far exceeded that. The CBC now has a worldwide presence, speaking across the globe in the public arenas of law, media, and academia, far beyond anything we dreamed of in those early days of the new millennium. 

Program Director Chris White interviews a past, present and future Ramsey Fellow about their experiences and hopes for the program.

I’m here to ask you to consider supporting the CBC in its vision for a more human future. If you compare the growth of our budget and the growth of our impact and voice, I believe you would see the tremendous value of supporting this organization, regardless of the size of that gift.

Every gift is welcome and greatly appreciated, large or small. Examples of what certain gifts can do include:

  •  $1000 enables us to translate one of our films into another language, allowing the opportunity to reach another group of people. We currently have films in English, Spanish, Italian, French, two in Japanese, and have requests for translations into Chinese and Russian.
  • $2500 supports travel to provide expert testimony before Congress and state legislatures across the country. Lawmakers do not pay for us to come and testify; we must cover those expenses. It is here where our voice is frequently needed and requested.
  • $5000 will fund a Ramsey fellow for a year. This is where we sow the seeds of the future, training up future academics to sway the academy and larger public on bioethical issues that are being debated now as well as those that come in the future.

Finally, although it isn’t sexy, we need additional support to expand our infrastructure, mainly staff. The few employees we have do incredible work, wearing many hats and covering many duties. The volunteers that help us have been amazing and we greatly appreciate their service. However, we are approaching a limit of what we can do. With one or two more staff, we can extend our reach and our voice even farther and stronger, produce more resources for public education, and advance the vision of a more human future.

2017-2019 Paul Ramsey Institute Fellows

For these reasons, I’m asking each of you to consider supporting the CBC with either a one-time, or even more helpful, an ongoing pledge to give on a regular basis. We even have a brokerage account and can process securities – call 925-407-2660 or email info@cbc-network.org for details. Back home in Kansas, some organizations even take donations of livestock. Unfortunately, we don’t have a stock trailer to hitch up.

Once again, I thank you very much for your time and consideration.

The Center for Bioethics and Culture is a non-profit 501(c)(3) public benefit educational organization. All gifts are tax-deductible.

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