Editing the Genome: What do the Public think about Engineering Human Beings?


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Editing the Genome: What do the Public think about Engineering Human Beings? Silvia Camporesi (KCL). 1430-1600, Saturday the 19th of March 2016, Crescent Arts Centre.

A flyer for this event can be found here [.pdf].

Due to its efficiency and versatility “CRISPR” – a genome-editing technology – has been referred to as a ‘game changer.’ Scientific research using this technology to modify the genomes of human embryos was given the green-light by the UK’s HFEA in January 2016. Whilst it has the potential to eliminate a range of illnesses and disabilities it could also be used for eugenic ends, or to create ‘designer babies.’ Whilst it is vital that scientists, bioethics and other academic experts consider whether and how to make use of this technology it is equally important that the public are kept informed and can express their views. In order to understand what members of the public think about genome editing Silvia and her colleague Dr Laura Marks conducted a survey of their views. More than 300 people participated. Silvia will present results of the survey and encourage a discussion with the audience.

Attendance is free and open to all, however you should reserve a place via the event page on the Imagine! website.


This is the third of three events organised by the NIEF as part of the programme for Imagine: A Festival of Ideas taking place in Belfast 14th – 21st of March 2016. The first and second will be:

1: Controversies about the Human Right to Health by Jo Wolff (UCL). 12.30-2pm, Monday the 14th of March 2016, Canada Room, QUB.

2: Panel Debate: “An Opt-Out Organ Donor Register: What is it, and should NI have one? Dr Chris Hingston (CLOD South Wales), Dr Paul Glover (Regional CLOD, Belfast, NI) and Nathan Emmerich (QUB). 1230-1400, Friday the 18th of March 2016. Old Staff Common Room, QUB.

A flyer for all three events can be found here [.pdf].