Future Ethics: Human Gene Editing

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This class has passed

What’s it all about?

With the first successful gene editing of twin babies by a Chinese doctor in 2018, many ideas previously only seen in science fiction have become very real indeed. But while technology offers us the possibility of managing or even eradicating genetic conditions, it also raises more questionable uses – designer babies whose appearance and even nature can be determined before birth; the possibility of changing our genes as adults; the expense of these procedures raising class inequality issues; and perhaps even the spectre of involuntary alteration.

What will we cover?

Technologies such as CRISPR cannot be uninvented – the question then is what we do with them? Should they be banned on safety grounds? Left uncontrolled to ensure we get every possible benefit from them? Or is some degree of regulation required – in which case who from, and to what degree? Learn the likely applications of this technology, the social, political and ethical implications, and most importantly, what you can do about it all.

Gordon YoungWho will be teaching?

Gordon Young is a professional ethicist. As Principal of Ethilogical Consulting, he works with businesses, universities, and other groups to improve decision-making methods and accountability processes. Learn more at, or attend his other Laneway Learning classes, including the ‘How to Wrestle a Pig’  conflict resolution class.