SRHRL Past Projects: Genetics
AAAS has had a long-standing commitment to public discourse and the study of the social impacts of advances in genetics like genetic testing, the human genome project, genetic modification, designer babies and behavioral genetics. Over the years, AAAS has hosted timely symposia and forums, and has released reports and policy recommendations.
Return to the past projects and activities archive page.
 Behavioral Genetics
AAAS and The Hastings Center conducted a project to provide tools for open and informed public discussion about the ethical and social issues raised by behavioral genetics. By tools we mean concepts and distinctions that facilitate clear, careful, and meaningful conversation among professional and lay groups. There were four components to the project.
 Working at the Frontiers of Law and Science: Applications of the Human Genome
Realizing the promises of the Human Genome Project in terms of enhanced understanding of health and disease will necessitate an enormous amount of research that involves human participants. It is clear that this research will raise critical ethical, legal and social issues.
 The Ethical, Legal, Social Implications of the Human Genome Diversity Project, Executive Summary
The Program organized a one-day event at the 1998 AAAS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA to address the cross-cultural ethical, legal, and social issues associated with implementating the proposed Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP).
 Genetically Modified Organisms: Redefining Food Products
Advances in genetic engineering are making it possible to create truly novel organisms by combining the genetic material of unrelated organisms. For example, genes from bacteria, viruses, and insects are being spliced into staples of our food chain, including potatoes, corn, rice, apples, and squash. While these novel food substances are not known to be dangerous, they may carry some ecological or health risks.
 The Human Genome Project: What’s the Public Got to do with it?
On February 17, 1997, the symposium “The Human Genome Project: What’s the public got to do with it?” was convened at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington. Nine distinguished speakers presented approaches and strategies for stimulating structured public dialogue on the Human Genome Project.
 AAAS Congressional Seminar Series on the Human Genome Project
Recognizing the importance of formulating public policy on a solid knowledge base and cognizant of the legislative proposals on the table for consideration by the 104th Congress, the AAAS organized a series of four seminars on the Human Genome Project in May and June of 1996 for Members of Congress and their staffs.
[1992-1994] Ethical and Legal Implications of Genetic Testing
The Program organized a project on “The Ethical and Legal Implications of Genetic Testing.” This project, co-sponsored by the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility and the National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists, convened three interdisciplinary workshops to facilitate the responsible use of new genetic knowledge and techniques.