CGS Teaching Resources
Looking for resources to bring discussions of human genome editing into your classroom? Check out the themed teaching modules below, each containing suggestions for videos, readings (at a range of levels with most available for free), and discussion questions that explore the ethical and social implications of human gene editing from a social justice and human rights perspective. We will be adding new modules to this list, so be sure to check back. If you have feedback, of if you would like to see something specific, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Human Genome Editing: Intro to Ethical and Social Implications
- Human Genome Editing from a Disability Rights Perspective
- Human Genome Editing as a Social Justice and Human Rights Issue (coming soon!)
- Governing Human Genome Editing: Who Decides and How? (coming soon!)
Guided lesson using TedEd platform (self-paced online lesson, educators can customize for use with their students):
- Video: Use Gene Editing to Treat Patients, Not Design Babies (12 minutes, Marcy Darnovsky at TedX Laguna Blanca School, January 2020)
- Video: Future of Genetics—Should We Create Superhumans? (90 minutes, Doha Debates featuring Katie Hasson, Jamie Metzl, and Julian Savulescu, March 2020)
- Audio: Scientist's Claim of Genetically-Edited Babies Renews Ethics Concerns (52 mintues, KQED Forum featuring Marcy Darnovsky, Fyodor Urnov, and Alex Marson, November 2018)
- What is Human Gene Editing?, Center for Genetics and Society
- Infographic: 5 Reasons to Say No to Genetically Modified Humans, Center for Genetics and Society
- Gene-edited babies: no one has the moral warrant to go it alone, Katie Hasson and Marcy Darnovsky, The Guardian
- Designer DNA Isn’t Just for ‘Designer Babies’, Katie Hasson, Zócalo Public Square
- CRISPR's Twisted Tales: Clarifying Misconceptions about Heritable Genome Editing, Marcy Darnovsky and Katie Hasson, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine (Special Issue on CRISPR), Jan 2020
- Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing, Françoise Baylis
Questions to spark discussion:
- What is the difference between somatic and heritable (or germline) gene editing and why is it important?
- What are some of the ethical concerns about changing the genes of future generations?
- In what ways might heritable genome editing affect inequality?
- Who should decide whether gene editing can be used to alter future generations? How should this decision be made?
- Disability Justice and Gene Editing: Exploring Multiple Perspectives (75 mins, featuring disability rights activists Anita Cameron and Mia Mingus, alongside sociologist and bioethicist Tom Shakespeare and feminist disability studies scholar Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, April 2017)
- Resisting Ableism: Disabled People and Human Gene Editing (13 mins, Alice Wong, Disability Visibility Project, November 2017)
- A Reading and Discussion with George Estreich (70 mins, discussing Fables and Futures: Biotechnology, Disability, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves with Marsha Saxton, May 2019)
- Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement (60 mins, 2013 | available on Kanopy through many public and university libraries)
- 5 Reasons Why We Need People with Disabilities in the CRISPR Debates, Emily Smith Beitiks, Biopolitical Times
- Please Don’t Edit Me Out, Rebecca Cokley, The Washington Post
- Should ‘broken’ genes be fixed? My daughter changed the way I think about that question, Ethan J. Weiss, STAT
- My ‘Orphan Disease’ Has Given Me a New Family, Rosemarie Garland-Thompson, The New York Times
- Russia’s CRISPR "Deaf Babies": The Next Genome Editing Frontier?, Jackie Leach Scully & Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Biopolitical Times
- How We Got to CRISPR: The Dilemma of Being Human, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
- Fables and Futures: Biotechnology, Disability, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves, George Estreich
Questions to spark discussion:
- What is ableism? How does it distort thinking about genome editing?
- Why is it important to include the perspectives of disabled people in debates about heritable genome editing?
- What are some of the difficulties in drawing lines between uses of heritable genome editing to correct disease and to attempt enhancements?
- What role does eugenic thinking play in societal debates about heritable genome editing?
For more, see CGS’s resource page for teaching and learning about disability rights and heritable genome editing.
Check our website and social media channels for the latest developments and an ever-expanding array of resources:
- Our blog Biopolitical Times features commentary and analysis from CGS staff and guest contributors.
- Check out our past Talking Biopolitics recordings for exciting conversations with cutting-edge speakers, including Alondra Nelson with Jenny Reardon and Ben Hurlbut with Patricia Williams.
- Revisit recent CGS public events, like Climate Crisis, Designer Babies, Our Common Future: An Evening with Bill McKibben and john a. powell, on our website and Youtube channel.
- Our monthly newsletter compiles the latest CGS offerings and a curated collection of articles on human genetic and reproductive technologies. Subscribe here!
- Follow CGS on Twitter and Facebook to get updates on breaking news and CGS events.
- Surrogacy360 provides factual information and resources about the health, legal, and ethical issues surrounding international commercial surrogacy.