DC Symposium: “The Future of Reproduction”

Posted by Marcy Darnovsky December 4, 2014
Biopolitical Times
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The week before Thanksgiving took me to Washington, DC to speak at The Future of Reproduction, a public symposium organized by Future Tense, a partnership of Slate, New America Foundation, and Arizona State University. You can view the event in full or individual panels here.

The afternoon was introduced by New America’s Liza Mundy. Three panels followed:

  • “Where Babies Will Come From” with Dieter Egli, senior researcher fellow, New York Stem Cell Foundation and Rebecca Sokol, President, American Society for Reproductive Medicine; moderated by Darshak Sanghavi
  • “Whose Business is Reproduction?” with Evan Snyder, stem cell biologist at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute; Debora Spar, President, Barnard College and author of The Baby Business: How Money, Science and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception; and Camille Hammond, CEO, Tinina Q Cade Foundation; moderated by Elizabeth Weingarten
  • “In the Gattaca-Family Way: How Far is Too Far?” with Marcy Darnovsky, Executive Director, Center for Genetics and Society; Charis Thompson, Chancellor's Professor and Chair, Gender and Women's Studies, University of California, Berkley; Jane Maienschein, Director, Center for Biology and Society, Arizona State University; moderated by Christine Rosen

3-person IVF” came up on each of the panels. Dieter Egli is one of the US researchers developing and promoting this risky experimental procedure; Evan Snyder chaired the February FDA hearing that concluded it’s currently too risky for clinical trials; and as Biopolitical Times readers know, the Center for Genetics and Society has been working against it on both safety and social grounds. (We were, however, on three different panels.)

Speakers addressed a range of other issues including the commercial dynamics of the fertility industry, the minimal regulation of assisted reproduction in the US, the history of eugenics, the invisibility of women in discussions of egg harvesting, prenatal and pre-implantation genetic testing, and the recent offer by Apple and Facebook to pay for freezing their employees’ eggs.

Summaries of the event can be found at Slate and The Daily Beast.