Biopolitical Times

The Center for Genetics and Society blog highlights the latest developments in the social, political, and ethical implications of human biotechnologies, with contributions from staff, fellows, consultants, and guest authors.


Artist’s impression of a transhumanist with a computer schematic diagram

Cropped from: “Decentralized_Transhumanism” by
Leonel Sohns, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The techno-utopian credos known as “effective altruism” and “longtermism” have recently gained wide notice, judging by Google searches, news articles, and personal experience. Far less attention has been paid to “hipster eugenics,” a term that brutally but accurately sums up the alarming trend previously known by the perhaps more anodyne “designer babies.” All are closely related.

Effective altruism has been defined rather politely as “a global philanthropic...

Biopolitical Times

photo credit: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The Center for Genetics and Society would like to congratulate reproductive justice and human rights activist Loretta Ross on her MacArthur Fellowship last week. Loretta was one of the founders of the Reproductive Justice (RJ) movement in 1994, recognizing the connections between women’s reproductive lives and the social, political, and economic environments in which they live. The RJ framework calls for every person to have the right to have a child...

The Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, better known as the Oviedo Convention, explicitly bans heritable human genome editing in the 29 countries that have signed and ratified it. It has done so for close to...

A stellar panel discussed how to bring a broader and more critical understanding of equity into current societal and public policy conversations about heritable genome editing.