Global Governance of the New Human Biotechnologies

Global Governance of the New Human Biotechnologies

Event poster

The new human biotechnologies have potential for both great good and great harm. If used responsibly they could lead to important medical advances. If misused, however, they could exacerbate existing health disparities, lay a basis for new forms of discrimination and open the door to high-tech eugenic practices and ideologies that could undermine the foundations of civil society and indeed our common humanity. Many countries have begun developing national policies that address these challenges. However, some policies will need to be applied on a global level if they are to be meaningful. Without an international regulatory framework, regulatory arbitrage could prompt a race to the bottom regarding bioscience research and applications. It will not be easy to agree upon international accords, but they stakes are high and the coming decade affords a rare window of opportunity for pro-active policy development.

The session on November 4 will bring presenters and participants together to address foundational questions regarding the prospects of international governance of new human biotechnologies. What technologies and practices are of greatest concern? What is the current state of national and international policy addressing them? What intergovernmental, NGO, private sector other bodies and networks are in a position to play leadership roles? What sets of values might inform international accords? What are the strengths and weakness of various sorts of policy instruments? Are there alternatives to formal accords that might be more readily achieved and equally or more effective? And what action should be taken now if we want to see effective policies adopted over the coming decade?


  • George Annas, Boston University School of Public Health
  • Francis Fukuyama, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
  • Richard Hayes, Center for Genetics and Society
  • Chamundeeswari Kuppuswamy, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

When: Nov. 4, 2:00-4:30 pm
Where: Rome Building 806
Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC



  • The Bernard Schwartz Forum on Constructive Capitalism
  • Center for Genetics and Society
  • Consortium of Policy, Science & Outcomes

Summary of Discussion [PDF]
Background Reading
Speaker Bios
Participant List