Giulia Cavaliere, will be the convenor of SSHM Work in Progress Seminar Series (WiPs) for 2015/16. Giulia is a Wellcome-Trust sponsored PhD student at SSHM working on the ethics of reproductive genetic technologies and the relation with eugenics.
The first meeting will be Tuesday the 20th from 16:00 to 17:30 in Room 3.1.1 East Wing, King’s Building.
Dr Silvia Camporesi will present her paper in progress titled: “A call for bioethics’ creative engagement with the CRISPR Cas/9 genome editing debate”.
Abstract is below.
These seminars are part of the BIOS+ Research Group at SSHM and offer the opportunity to the members of the Department to discuss drafts of their work-in-progress and receive helpful feedback from colleagues before submission or before a presentation. The aim is to bring together the researchers in the Department (and not only!) and provide a locus for sharing expertise and knowledge in an informal setting. Junior researchers, including PhD students and post-docs, are especially encouraged to present.
If you are interested in attending contact Giulia who will send you the draft of the paper: firstname.lastname@example.org; @
(If you are interested in presenting next time, do also write to Giulia!)
In this talk I begin to analyse the ethical boundary work at play in the CRISPR-Cas9 debate. I argue that Williams’ (2006) concept of “compressing the future” can be a powerful lens through which to look at the way the CRISPR-Cas9 debate is playing out. The imagined futures evoked by CRISPR-Cas9 can be understood as a particular type of story that bioethicists use to depict a new technology. It is important to understand why a story is chosen, why the rosy or the dystopic future. Using the term coined by Lezaun and Soneyrd (2007), CRISPR/Cas9 becomes a “technolog[y] of elicitation” which seeks to extract public opinion in a strategic way. I argue that we should pay attention to the fact that the call for a moratorium and for dialogue on CRISPR may not only influence decision-making but also, by preventing alternative views from surfacing in the debate and by putting emphasis only on the germ-line applications of the technology, restrict the boundaries of the much called-for public engagement by eliciting particular public responses. Instead, what becomes prioritised and what does not, and why, needs to become a matter of ethical scrutiny, and I provide some examples of possible applications of the technologies that are currently being overlooked. I conclude that CRISPR/Cas9 represents an opportunity not to be missed for bioethicists to engage creatively with science outside well-known schema of promises and fears.