We’re on the verge of taking control of evolution—manipulating our genetic code to eliminate diseases in our children and enhance their capabilities.
That’s fact, not science fiction, says Harvard’s George Church and other leading researchers on engineering the genome. The implications are truly profound. Could genetic engineering produce longed-for miracles and give our children new opportunities to live better lives, or is it a dangerous challenge to nature? Moderator Jamie Metzl is joined by Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, Columbia University bioethicist Robert Klitzman, New York Stem Cell Foundation Co-Founder and CEO Susan Solomon, and Princeton Professor of Molecular Biology and Public Policy Lee Silver to discuss the opportunities and challenges of human genetic engineering, among the most important issues of the coming millennia.
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George Church is professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and director of PersonalGenomes.org. He is the author of Regenesis.
Moderator and Guest Curator Jamie Metzl is a partner in a global investment company and a Senior Fellow of the Asia Society. He has served in the US National Security Council, Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Department of State, with the United Nations in Cambodia, and as Executive Vice President of the Asia Society. The author of two books on Asia, his syndicated columns are featured regularly in publications around the world, and he appears regularly on national and international media discussing international issues. Jamie’s novel, Genesis Code, which deals with issues of human genetic enhancement in the context of a future US-China rivalry, will be published in November 2014 by Arcade. Twitter: @jamiemetzl.
Susan L. Solomon – Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF). Ms. Solomon co-founded NYSCF in 2005 with the aim of directing private philanthropy towards stem cell research to accelerate cures for serious disease. NYSCF now runs its own independent private laboratory with 45 full-time researchers and also supports another 70 scientists around the world who are doing the most advanced stem cell research.
Robert Klitzman, MD, is a Professor of Psychiatry and the Director of the Masters of Bioethics Program at Columbia University. He has written over 100 articles, and eight books, including Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testing, and The Ethics Police?: The Struggle to Make Human Research Safe (March, 2015), and is currently completing Designing Babies: The Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Assisted Reproductive Technologies. His work has appeared in JAMA and Science, as well as The New York Times, Newsweek, The Nation and other publications. He is a gubernatorial appointee to the NY State Stem Cell Commission, and a member of the Research Ethics Advisory Panel of the US Department of Defense.
Lee Silver is a professor of Molecular Biology and Public Policy at Princeton University, and Founder and Chief Science Advisor at GenePeeks, Inc. He received a doctorate in biophysics from Harvard University, is an elected lifetime fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and received a National Institutes of Health MERIT award for outstanding research in genetics. Lee has published more than 200 research articles in the fields of developmental genetics, molecular evolution, population genetics, behavioral genetics, and computer modeling and has authored several genetics textbooks and two popular books—Challenging Nature and Remaking Eden.