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Ralph Nader to speak on business ethics

By Sookhan Ho

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 23 - March 5, 1998

Consumer activist Ralph Nader will speak on "The Ethical Responsibility of Business," on Thursday, March 19. Nader, whose talk is sponsored by the Pamplin College of Business, is the featured speaker in the eighth annual Symposium on Business Ethics, organized by the Business Leadership Center in the Department of Management.
The talk, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center auditorium. Nader will also meet with faculty members and graduate students in a seminar the following morning.
Honored by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential Americans of this century, Nader has spent his life helping ordinary people defend themselves against corporate negligence and government indifference. In 1965, he took on the automobile industry with his book, Unsafe At Any Speed, an exposé of the disregard of car makers for the safety of their customers. The Senate hearing into Nader's charges and the motor-vehicle laws that resulted catapulted him into the public sphere.
Working with lawmakers, Nader was instrumental in creating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Laws he helped draft and pass include the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Meat and Poultry Inspection rules, and the Freedom of Information Act.
He has formed numerous citizen groups, including the Center for Auto Safety, Public Citizen, Pension Rights Center, the Coalition for Universities in the Public Interest, and the student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRG's) that operate in more than 20 states. In his latest citizen initiative, he is working with alumni classes, including his own at Princeton University and Harvard Law School, to redirect their focus from parties and reunions to volunteerism and community projects.
Nader ran for president in 1992 and 1996 to challenge the "duopoly" of the two-party system.
His best-selling books include Winning the Insurance Game, Why Women Pay More, and Getting the Best From Your Doctor. His most recent consumer-education books are Children First: A Parent's Guide to Fighting Corporate Predators, and No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America.
Copies of No Contest will be available for purchase at the talk.