2011 Annual Conference of the Professions

For nearly three decades, the Conference of Professions has brought together members of law, medicine, and theology in the Dallas area to discuss common challenges—ethical and otherwise—facing these professions.The Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility jointly sponsors this activity with the Dallas County Medical Society, Dallas Bar Association, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, SMU Dedman School of Law, and the SMU Perkins School of Theology.

The 26th Annual Conference of the Professions examined the issues surrounding social media and took a sophisticated look at its effects on law, medicine and the clergy. Our goal was not to teach professionals “how to” use social media, but rather to look at the more serious issues of its use.

Our keynote speaker was Carrie James, Ph.D., a research director and principal investigator at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where her research specialties include social media and moral and ethical development. James’s keynote address explored the moral and ethical dimensions of digital life, shared findings from research about approaches to online life, and considered possible implications for the professions.

Our panel was made up of the following professionals representing law, medicine and clergy:

John Browning, managing partner of the Dallas law office of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP, where he handles civil litigation in state and federal courts. Browning, an adjunct professor at SMU Dedman School of Law, has extensive trial, arbitration and summary judgment experience.. A noted legal writer, Browning’s weekly syndicated newspaper column “Legally Speaking” has garnered numerous journalism awards. His book, The Lawyer’s Guide to Social Networking, was published in December 2010.

Dusty Craig is pastor of Next Generation Ministries at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake, Texas. He recently launched White’s Chapel Online, a “digital mission to the un-churched, de-churched, and anti-church population” on the Internet that sees more than 1,000 unique visitors each week from more than 20 countries. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in theology from Dallas Baptist University. He attends SMU’s Perkins School of Theology and is working on his doctor of ministry degree at George Fox Evangelical Seminary under Leonard Sweet. Craig blogs on his own site and maintains an active social media presence.

Dan McCoy is a managing partner, consultant and dermatologist in the Dallas area. He has launched innovative social media projects including live streaming of video information for blogs and education events. He works with major Fortune 500 companies in product marketing, providing lectures and participating in educational forums. He received his M.D. from UT Southwestern Medical School.