by Guest Blogger,
Tyler A. Kokjohn
The New York Times has examined in a Room for Debate feature whether scientists are able to exert much control over the use of their discoveries (http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/05/28/scientists-curbing-the-ethical-use-of-science). One of the opinions published, “The Lessons of Asilomar for Today’s Science” by Alexander Capron, set the current concerns arising over recent editing of human embryo genomes into a historical context and suggests that we should not rely on scientists to make all the decisions for us.
The 1975 Asilomar conference to assess the hazards posed by recombinant DNA experiments and make recommendations for a sensible path forward confirmed that the scientific community has a strong sense of social responsibility. Recognizing the swift maturation of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology now poses potentially explosive societal challenges, a group of distinguished scientists has called for another moratorium to allow time for a full public discussion of the ethical…
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