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Paul Guggenheimer

Duquesne University is creating a new interdisciplinary center exploring the “intersection between ethics and science, technology, and law from a Catholic faith-based perspective,” according to a news release.

The Carl G. Grefenstette Center for Ethics in Science, Technology and Law is scheduled to open this fall with an initial gift of $1.5 million from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.

“Pittsburgh serves as a global leader in technological development. While robotics, artificial intelligence and data analytics make news daily, the understanding of how they may affect society is not being pursued at the same rapid pace,” said Duquesne President Ken Gormley. “Both Pope Francis and our Catholic Spiritan tradition call us to consider the ethical and societal implications of advances in science and technology on each individual, including the effects on vulnerable populations.”

The center will engage in sponsored research and organize conferences. It is named for Carl G. Grefenstette, a 1950 graduate of Duquesne’s business school, who spent more than 30 years with The Hillman Company before retiring as its president and chief executive officer. Grefenstette serves as vice president of the Hillman Family Foundations. He served on Duquesne’s board of directors from 1979 to 1998.

A national search for a director of the Grefenstette Center will begin in the near future.

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