For a small country, Australia punches above its weight in bioethics. There's Peter Singer, now at Princeton, one of the most prestigious universities in the US. He has become world famous as a theoretician of animal rights and advocate of infanticide for disabled babies.
There's Philip Nitschke, the poster boy of the world euthanasia movement now that his American counterpart, Jack Kervorkian, is rattling the bars of a Michigan prison.
And there's Julian Savulescu, the Uehiro professor of applied ethics at Oxford, who recently returned home to tell Australian parents that they have a moral obligation to genetically modify their children. An obligation, mind you, not just a nice idea.
"If you're going to have a child, you should have the best child you can," Savulescu told a crowd at Melbourne University the other day.
He endorses the use of genetic engineering to select and even to design children to have a greater likelihood of longevity, health, abilities, beauty and a sunny temperament.