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Françoise Baylis

“Why is it that we think we can just take everything, everything, and modify it for ourselves?” asks Françoise Baylis, a world leader in the field of bioethics.

“We’re modifying mosquitoes so that they can’t infect us. We're modifying cows so maybe they won’t produce as much methane or they won’t have horns that hurt us. We're modifying cats so that we don't have to worry about allergic reactions.”

Baylis is the winner of the 2022 Canada Council Killam Prize for the Humanities — a $100,000 prize. The ‘Killams’ are Canada's most prestigious set of awards for scholars in each major area of research: humanities, social sciences, health sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. IDEAS will be speaking with other winners later this season.

Françoise Baylis is also on the governing board of the International Science Council and the planning committee for the Third International Summit on Human Genome Editing, to be held in early 2023. Her most recent book is Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing.

Baylis spoke to IDEAS about her quest to put... see more