Doha Debates– Don't settle for a Divided World
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Future of Genetics

Should we create superhumans?

This debate was held at Northwestern University in Qatar
March 11, 2020

Introduction

Gene editing allows scientists to change an organism’s DNA, and the science behind it has accelerated in the past decade, thanks to a tool known as CRISPR. CRISPR heralds a new phase in human evolution: We now have the ability to change and rewrite our genetic code.

In this debate, we ask what long-term challenges and opportunities CRISPR presents, looking closely at two particular consequences: the implications of gene editing on global inequality, and the risk to evolution.

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Future of Genetics full debate
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1:38:51
FULL DEBATE

Future of Genetics

Framing the debate

Julian Savulescu, ethicist, moral philosopher and the current Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, comes out strongly in favor of gene editing, calling it a moral imperative for society. Technology and health care futurist Jamie Metzl sees gene editing as a foregone conclusion: We’re already using so many therapies and technologies to improve the human race, and gene editing is no different.  Katie Hasson, the program director on Genetic Justice at the Center for Genetics and Society, asks, “Would the traits perceived as the ‘best’ be available only to the affluent and privileged? And would gene editing dig deeper trenches between the haves and have-nots?”

Videos about the topic:

DD-genetics-Asks-video
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04:17
Video

Future of Genetics: Would You Genetically Modify Something About Yourself?

DD-genetics-intro-video
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05:49
Video

The Perfect Human: Gene Editing & CRISPR

Intro statements from our participants:

Jamie-youtube
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03:57
Video

Jamie Metzl: Engineering Immunity to Pathogens Like Coronavirus

Katie-youtube
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03:53
Video

Katie Hasson: Germline Editing is Not Safe, Not Needed & Unethical

Julian-youtube
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03:59
Video

Julian Savulescu: Genetic Enhancement Is a Moral Obligation