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The World Economic Forum addresses human biotechnologies

Genetic Crossroads
February 23rd, 2006

George Annas writes about governing the emerging human biotechnologies in Global Agenda, the official publication of the World Economic Forum. Annas is chair of the Health Law Department at the Boston University School of Public Health and co-founder of Global Lawyers & Physicians.

The article concludes: "We need to exercise our moral imaginations to create a structure that can act as a virtual global conscience for the scientific community pursuing species-altering and potentially species-endangering biotechnologies. An ethical oversight structure must be global and should include representatives from governments, industry, non-governmental organizations and the public….That we can imagine the horrors of an avian flu pandemic or a bioterrorist attack, but cannot imagine ways to develop and exercise a "species conscience", is a potentially lethal attribute of today's humans."

Read the full text of the article: "Governing Biotechnology"

The same issue of Global Agenda includes an article by Gregory Stock, the UCLA professor and biotech industry executive who advocates that biomedical researchers apply their techniques to the genetic modification of future generations to select gender, personality traits, and other characteristics.

Related article:

"Scientists say human enhancement will shape competition of the future," Associated Press (January 26).


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