New York Time's Randy Cohen visits UTHealth for lecture and Q&A public forum

Events to address ethics in academic, professional, and personal settings

January 13, 2011


HOUSTON – (January 13, 2011) – Do you have an ethical question you're embarrased to ask? Have you ever wanted to know if what "they" are doing is ethically sound?

New York Times' ethics and syndicated columnist Randy Cohen will be the guest speaker at the John H. Trolinger Lecture Series on Ethical Values and Health Care Organizations Jan. 26–27. The series is hosted by The John P. McGovern, M.D., Center for Humanities and Ethics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

The two-day series on ethics includes a special presentation and a Q&A forum addressing questions submitted by the public. "The popularity of Cohen's column testifies to the need we all have for instruction and modeling in moral deliberation," said Tom Cole, Ph.D., director of the McGovern Center. "Cohen is always thoughful and funny in his responses and he makes us think more carefully about the decisions we make."

Cohen currently writes "The Ethicist," a weekly column for The New York Times Sunday Magazine, in which he answers various questions posed by readers.

On Wednesday, Jan. 26, the Emmy Award-winning writer will speak about the ethics of plagiarism. "We have an exagerrated idea of plagiarism in literature and music that discourages innovation," said Cohen. "However, in the academic setting, we need to be critical of students and teaching." On Thursday, Jan. 27, during a Q& A forum, Cohen will address questions submitted by the public. To submit an ethical question, email a three- to five-sentence query to

The Trolinger Scholarship, as it was originally endowed, was established in memory of John H. Trolinger, former UTHealth assistant vice president for auditing and advisory services. The Scholarship was renamed the John H. Trolinger Lecture Series on Ethical Values and Health Care Organizations to recognize Trolinger's commitment to ethical values and provide a forum to the Houston community on various ethical topics. "We all face difficult decisions in our professional and personal lives," said Cole. "Ethical reflection makes us more aware and enables us to make better, more informed choices."

Both sessions are free and open to the public.

"Plagiarism, a Kind of Defense"
Wednesday, Jan. 26, 4 p.m.
George & Cynthia Mitchell Basic Sciences Research Building
Onstead Auditorium, Third Floor
6767 Bertner Avenue
Houston, TX 77030
Reception to follow

"Ask the Ethicist"
Thursday, Jan. 27, 12 p.m.
UTHealth Medical School, MSB 3.001
6431 Fannin Street
Houston, TX 77030

Jade Waddy
Media Hotline: 713-500-3030


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