Van Hasselt Lecture 2017 | Editing Society: The Ethics of Gene Editing

Doors open at 19.30 hrs

The welcome speech will be given by  Aletta Hekker, the City Council Member of Delft and the introduction by prof.dr.ir. Tim van der Hagen, President of TU Delft. After the keynote speech by Annelien Bredenoord, the Rector Magnificus of TU Delft, prof.ir. K.Ch.A.M. Luyben will present the Mekel Award for the best reflection on the social responsibility aspects of their research project.

In the Van Hasselt Lecture, Annelien Bredenoord will discuss the complex relationship between gene editing technology, our societies, institutions and ethics. She will argue that genome editing has such an impact on a broad array of human life that ethics and governance should be an intrinsic part of responsible innovation in this field.

Genome editing is a set of methods to create changes in DNA sequences of virtually every organism. Particularly the emergence of CRISPR/Cas9 in 2015 has been hailed by its unparalleled potential for modifying human and nonhuman genomes. It has significant potential in a wide range of sectors in human and animal health, food and agriculture, the modification of populations in the wild and more. Alongside the prospective benefits and the advances it may bring to human health come many ethical and governance questions. Particularly inheritable germline modification of human embryos has raised a fierce ethical debate: should we edit the human genome?

Prof. dr. Annelien Bredenoord is Professor of Ethics of Biomedical Innovation and a Member of the Dutch Senate for D66.

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