Aaron Roberts, McMaster University’s Institute on Ethics & Policy for Innovation (IEPI)

Through a collaboration between FNIH GeneConvene Global Collaborative and McMaster University’s Institute on Ethics & Policy for Innovation (IEPI), the Gene Drive Research Forum has developed a series of five panel discussions titled “Unsettled Ethical Issues in Gene Drive Research”. Participation is open to all!

The next session is coming up on Tuesday, August 10 at 10:00 AM EDT, at which time we are pleased to invite you to attend a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Sam Weiss Evans of Harvard University and centered on the question, “Do justice and equity concerns bolster or hinder the case for the use of gene drive applications?”. The event will be the second of five virtual panel discussions designed to explore and juxtapose various ethics perspectives and their relation to the emerging gene editing technologies collectively known as ‘gene drive’.

The webinar will gather a broad swath of stakeholders - including ethicists, funders, government officials, social scientists, technical researchers and developers - already interested in and new to gene drive technologies, who will listen to discussions and engage panelists with additional questions and comments. The speakers are a mix of experts working within the gene drive field or external to it but with relevant expertise. Expect rich and thought-provoking discussion that will generate novel considerations and lines of thinking for those exploring gene drive technologies.

Want to be in virtual attendance, but have a conflict with one of the scheduled events? Not to worry, each of the panel discussions is recorded and available for public viewing on the GeneConvene Global Collaborative YouTube channel.


About the series:

The panel discussions will be held on every second Tuesday of each month for five months, from July to November 2021. Each panel discussion will be two hours in length – about 30 minutes dedicated to introductions and brief statements by panelists on their positions regarding the topic, followed by one hour of moderated panel discussion; and finally, about 30 minutes for Q&A with other participants. More information can be found on the registration website!

View the trailer here!

Homo sapiens have been altering their environment deliberately to address a wide range of needs and unintentionally through various activities for millennia – and likely will continue to do so. However, changes that are acceptable to some may appear unacceptable to others for very different reasons. What are the ethical concerns at play in these disagreements? This panel discussion series will explore and juxtapose various ethics perspectives and their relation to the emerging gene editing technologies collectively known as ‘gene drive’ and will culminate in a discussion about exceptionalism.

Sessions:

  • July 13, 2021 10:00 am Eastern US time
    Is there a moral difference between the natural and synthetic?
    Moderator: Fredros Okumu, Ph.D., Ifakara Health Institute
    Watch here!
  • August 10, 2021 10:00 am Eastern US time
    Do justice and equity concerns bolster or hinder the case for the use of gene drive applications?
    Moderator: Sam Weiss Evans, D.Phil., Harvard University
  • September 14, 2021 10:00 am Eastern US time
    Who owes what to whom: What is the nature and scope of responsibilities of the various actors in gene drive research?
    Moderator: Jim Lavery, Ph.D., Emory University
  • October 12, 2021 10 am Eastern US time
    From principles to principled action: What ethical principles ought to govern gene drive research?
    Moderator: Katherine Littler, World Health Organization
  • November 9, 2021 10 am Eastern US time
    Does gene drive technology raise exceptional ethical issues?
    Moderator: Claudia Emerson, Ph.D., McMaster University