Claims that Craig Venter ‘created life’ may have been overblown, but humans can now go beyond tinkering with genetics and build a new organism from components. How is this possible – and how should we approach our new-found powers? Adam Rutherford, ethicist Andy Miah and social scientist Jane Calvert tackle the tricky ethical questions thrown up by what some would call an extension of biology and others suspect is ‘playing God’. To coincide with a Nuffield Council on Bioethics consultation on emerging biotechnologies, this debate at the Cheltenham Science Festival will consider the ethical issues raised by synthetic biology. Adam Rutherford, ethicist Andy Miah and social scientist Jane Calvert (member of the Nuffield Council Working Party on emerging biotechnologies) tackle the tricky ethical questions thrown up by what some would call an extension of biology and others suspect is ‘playing God’.
Here's a copy of my presentation:
Following a degree in evolutionary biology Adam Rutherford completed a PhD in the genetics of the eye. Now Adam is an editor of science journal Nature. Adam recently presented BBC4 series “Cell” covering 4 billion years of evolution from the very first cell to the future of life itself.
Andy Miah is Director of the Creative Futures Research Centre within the Faculty of Business and Creative Industries at the University of the West of Scotland. His research focuses on questions concerning the future of humanity and which require transdisciplinary research solutions.
Jane Calvert is a social scientist and Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, based in the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Innogen Centre. Jane's broad area of research is the sociology of the life sciences.