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2 November 2004

The church's view on bioethics and its potential impact on political decisions will be examined during a Talkback Classroom interview at the National Museum of Australia tomorrow with medical ethicist Dr Christopher Newell.

Dr Newell — Associate Professor in Medical Ethics at the University of Tasmania and an Anglican priest — will be quizzed on his work on disability issues, his views on stem cell research and how genetic engineering might have helped people with paralysis like the late Christopher Reeve.

The nationally-selected panel of senior students set to quiz Dr Newell is: Emma Gibbs, Sunshine Beach State High School, Queensland; Daniel Baker, Canberra High School; and Sam Thorpe, Canberra College.

WHAT: Christopher Newell Talkback Classroom

WHEN: 10.30am, Wednesday 3 November

WHERE: Studio, National Museum, Acton

Students at the Melbourne Museum will watch Talkback Classroom via video link and question Dr Newell at the end of the main interview.

Talkback Classroom, a joint National Museum and Parliamentary Education Office project, gives students media training and access to key politicians and public figures as part of the national civics curriculum.

This is the final Talkback Classroom for 2004 which has featured guests including US ambassador Tom Schieffer, Governor-General Michael Jeffery, cartoonist Geoff Pryor and Democrats leader Andrew Bartlett. The program continues in 2005.

The Talkback Classroom interview will be broadcast on ABC Radio National's Life Matters. Talkback Classroom can also be seen on the SBS TV program, School Torque.

For interviews, images or more information please contact public affairs director Martin Portus on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or

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