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Gene Modification for Future Generations: AAAS Report on Safety, Ethical and Religious Concerns
Washington, DC - September 12, 2000 – Recent advances in reproductive gene modification on animals raise the possibility that science will develop the technical capacity to genetically alter future human generations. But, according to a team of experts convened by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), science is ahead of public policy on this issue, a situation that has serious implications for our ability to monitor and control human genetic research.
On September 18, the AAAS will announce the findings and recommendations of a working group of 20 scientists, ethicists, theologians and policy analysts from across the country who, for more than two-and-a-half years, deliberated critical questions concerning inheritable genetic modification in humans. Questions addressed by the group in its report include:
What are the current scientific prospects for altering gene cells that could mold future generations?
Are we wise enough, ethical enough to know how to apply genetic modification technologies in a manner that is just and respects human dignity?
Given the myriad of ethical concerns that gene modification raises, what, if any, types of gene modification should be encouraged and what safeguards or oversights are necessary?
WHAT: A news briefing on the AAAS panel's report, "Human Inheritable Genetic Modifications: Assessing Scientific, Ethical, Religious and Policy Issues"
WHEN: 10 a.m., Monday, September 18, 2000.
WHERE: First Amendment Room, National Press Club, 14th and F Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.
Robert Cook-Deegan, M.D., director of the National Cancer Policy Board, Institute of Medicine and Commission on Life Sciences, National Academy of Sciences.
Theodore Friedmann, M.D., professor of Pediatrics and Biomedical Ethics, and director of Program in Human Gene Therapy, University of California, San Diego.
Sondra Wheeler, Ph.D. professor of Christian Ethics, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Mark S. Frankel, director, AAAS Scientific Freedom, Responsibility and Law Program, co-author of the report.
Dr. Audrey R. Chapman, director, AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion, co-author of the report.
Speakers for the briefing will include:
EDITOR'S NOTE: Speakers will be available for one-on-one interviews following the news briefings. Copies of the report will be issued at the briefing. Following the briefing, the report will be available at the AAAS Science and Policy Website.