University of Rochester

EVENT: "Nature Vs. Nurture," a panel discussion on child development

TIME, DATE, AND PLACE: 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, Hoyt Hall on the University of Rochester River Campus

ADMISSION: Free and open to the public Note: Parking for the lecture will be available in the Library Lot on the River Campus.

April 14, 1999

Several University of Rochester professors will participate in a discussion of the controversial issue of "nature vs. nurture" in child development at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 5, in Hoyt Hall on the University's River Campus.

The discussion will explore the critical period for language learning in children, the influence of parents and peers on intellectual and personality development, and how modern techniques for genetic screening affect the way in which we view human potential.

Elissa Newport, chair of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, is an expert on language acquisition and will discuss the critical period for language learning.

Judith Smetana, professor of clinical and social psychology, will explain the influence of parents and peers on social and personality development. The discussion will look at the recent book by Judith Harris, The Nurture Assumption, which takes a radical "peer-centered" view of adolescent development and claims that parents do not socialize their children, but that they socialize one another.

Peter Rowley, professor of medicine at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, is involved in genetic testing and will talk about how these techniques will become increasingly influential in individual and public policy decisions. Richard Aslin, professor of brain and cognitive science, will moderate the discussion.

The debate is part of the University of Rochester Regional Alumni Council's Wednesday Evening Lecture Series. Admission is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested and can be made at (585) 273-5888.