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Hastings Center Symposium on the Ethics of Genetically Modifying Children

A major report released this week opens the door to the genetic modification of humans to create traits that can be inherited, but only if a set of criteria can be met. The Hastings Center organized a symposium at the AAAS annual meeting in Boston on February 17 that examined the report and discussed broad questions about the role that ethical issues should play in the assessment of new technologies. Hastings Center president Mildred Solomon, who moderated the symposium, noted that the report “takes seriously that there could be compelling ethical, social, and cultural reasons not to proceed with all the imaginable uses of human germline modifications – reasons that go beyond issues of safety” and that it “urges that we create opportunities for …robust public engagement about those possible reasons.” Josephine Johnston, director of research and a research scholar at The Hastings Center, was a panelist at the symposium. Watch the symposium here. Read the human genome editing report here.

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