Civil society statement to the organizers of the “Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing”

Civil society statement to the organizers of the

“Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing”

November 28, 2018

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The undersigned individuals and organizations wish to express our dismay and outrage at He Jiankui’s claims of creating genetically engineered babies. Though these claims are unverified, his actions violate a key provision of the concluding statement issued at the First International Summit on Human Gene Editing in 2015, that such dangerous experiments should not proceed until there was broad societal consensus in their favor. 

That statement was intended to reassure civil society that the scientific community could regulate itself and prevent such reckless behavior. If the organizers of this week’s summit in Hong Kong wish to demonstrate that science is not out of control, and is worthy of public trust, now is the time for them and the rest of the international scientific community to act.

We urge that they (1) condemn in clear terms the rogue actions of the researcher who has taken it on himself to make a hugely consequential decision that affects all of us; and (2) call on governments and the United Nations to establish enforceable moratoria prohibiting reproductive experiments with human genetic engineering.

Such policies are necessary in order to ensure that we do not get into a runaway international competition for primacy in reproductive genetic engineering, leading to a new form of eugenics.  If the summit and other scientific bodies do not act, it will fall to civil society and policy makers to do so, in order to ensure the avoidance of disastrous consequences for global society.

  • David King, Human Genetics Alert
  • Marcy Darnovsky, Center for Genetics and Society
  • Katie Hasson, Center for Genetics and Society


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INDIVIDUAL SIGNATORIES (Affiliation for Identification Purposes Only)


  1. Elisabeth Abergel, PhD, Department of sociology, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
  2. Gen Acuna, Toronto Non-GMO Coalition; Kids Right To Know
  3. Roberto Andorno, PhD, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  4. George J. Annas, JD, MPH, Center for Health Law, Ethics & Human Rights, Boston University School of Public Health
  5. Dr. Michael Antoniou, King's College London
  6. Lisa Archer, Friends of the Earth, US
  7. Simone Bateman, Emeritus Senior Researcher CNRS (Paris, France)
  8. Françoise Baylis, PhD, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
  9. Claire Beaudevin, PhD, CNRS, Paris France
  10. Diane Beeson, PhD, Professor Emerita, CSU East Bay
  11. Emily Smith Beitiks, PhD, Associate Director, Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability, San Francisco State University
  12. Kara Bensley, PhD, UC Berkeley School of Public Health
  13. Jennifer Berman Diaz, Founder, Toronto Non-GMO Coalition
  14. Rajani Bhatia, PhD, University at Albany
  15. Claire Bleakley, President, GE-free NZ in Food & Environment
  16. Catherine Bliss, PhD, UCSF Social Behavioral Sciences
  17. Lars Bolund, PhD, BGI/Lars Bolund Institute of Regenerative Medicine, Qingdao, China and Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Denmark
  18. Catherine Bourgain, PhD, Sciences Citoyennes and Inserm Human Geneticist
  19. Paula Braveman, MD, MPH, University of California, San Francisco
  20. W. Malcolm Byrnes, PhD, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC
  21. Erika M. Brown, MPH, UC Berkeley School of Public Health
  22. Alexander M. Capron, JD, University Professor and Professor of Law and Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
  23. Alana Cattapan, PhD, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan
  24. Katayoun Chamany, PhD, Mohn Family Professor of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Eugene Lang College at The New School
  25. Gail Chester, Breaking the Frame, London
  26. Daniel Cook, PhD, School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada Reno
  27. Marsha J. Tyson Darling, PhD, Professor & Director, Center for African, Black & Caribbean Studies, Adelphi University
  28. Katherine Weatherford Darling, PhD, Department of Social Science, University of Maine at Augusta
  29. Marcy Darnovsky, PhD, Center for Genetics and Society
  30. Roni Diamant-Wilson, PhD
  31. Donna Dickenson, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Medical Ethics and Humanities, University of London
  32. Ole Doering, PhD, Institute for Global Health, Berlin, Germany
  33. Katherine Drabiak, JD, Assistant Professor, College of Public Health, University of South Florida
  34. Elaine Draper, PhD, JD, Professor of Sociology and Director, Law and Society Program, California State University, Los Angeles
  35. Justine Durrell
  36. Irina Ermakova, Professor of Biology, Moscow, Russia
  37. George Estreich, Author
  38. Dr. Fleur Fisher, Former Head of Ethics, Science and Information at British Medical Association (1991-96)
  39. Kevin Fitzgerald, S.J., PhD, Creighton University School of Medicine
  40. Sarah Forthal, Columbia University
  41. Joan H. Fujimura, PhD, Martindale-Bascom Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  42. Katy Fulfer, PhD, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies, University of Waterloo
  43. Alexander Gaguine, Appleton Foundation
  44. Ben Gaia, Dialatree New Zealand
  45. Emily Galpern, MPH, Public Health Consultant
  46. Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, PhD, Professor of English & bioethics, Founding Director, Disability Studies Initiative, Emory University
  47. Landon J. Getz, PhD Candidate, Dalhousie University
  48. Alan  Goodman, PhD, Professor of Biological Anthropology, Hampshire College
  49. Laurie Goodman, PhD, Editor-in-Chief GigaScience
  50. Samantha D. Gottlieb,  PhD, MHS, Medical Anthropologist
  51. Zelka Linda Grammer, GE Free Northland, Aotearoa/ NZ
  52. Rosann Greenspan, PhD, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Law and Society, University of California, Berkeley
  53. Jeremy Gruber, JD, Former President, Council for Responsible Genetics
  54. Hille Haker, PhD, Richard McCormick Endowed Chair of Ethics, Loyola University Chicago
  55. Jaydee Hanson, Policy Director for Human Genetics, International Center for Technology Assessment
  56. Janet A. Hart, MA, PhD, MCPHS University, Boston, Massachusetts
  57. Michael Harvey, DrPhH, Assistant Professor of Public Health, San Jose State University
  58. Katie Hasson, PhD, Center for Genetics and Society
  59. Richard Hayes, PhD, Executive Director emeritus, Center for Genetics and Society
  60. Alexandra Henrion Caude, PhD, Science-En Conscience and Inserm Human Geneticist
  61. Sabrina Hermosilla, PhD, Columbia University
  62. Elisabeth Hildt, PhD, Illinois Institute of Technology
  63. Craig Holdrege, PhD, Director and Senior Researcher, The Nature Institute of Ghent, NY
  64. Nina Holland, Corporate Europe Observatory
  65. Lisa C. Ikemoto, JD, UC Davis School of Law
  66. Patricia Jennings, PhD, Professor of Sociology, CSU East Bay
  67. Chris Kaposy, PhD, Associate Professor of Bioethics, Memorial University
  68. Trica Keaton, PhD, Dartmouth College
  69. David King, PhD, Human Genetics Alert
  70. Brewster Kneen, Economist and author
  71. Regine Kollek, Prof., Hamburg University
  72. Nancy Krieger, PhD, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  73. Liz Kroboth, MPH, Lecturer, San Francisco State University
  74. Sharon Labchuk, Earth Action Canada
  75. Martine Lappé, PhD, Science, Technology, and Society Program, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  76. Heather Lee, No More GMOs Toronto
  77. Martha Livingston, PhD, Chair and Professor, Public Health, SUNY Old Westbury
  78. Leah Lowthorp, PhD, University of Oregon
  79. Calum MacKellar, PhD, Director of Research, Scottish Council on Human Bioethics
  80. Laura Mamo, PhD, Health Equity Institute Professor, San Francisco State University
  81. Rev. Bronica Martindale-Taylor, BA, Health Educator
  82. Becky A. McClain, Alliance for Humane Biotechnology
  83. Noémie Merleau-Ponty, Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge
  84. Miroslav  Mikolasik, Member of the European Parliament
  85. Jessica Milne, MPH, Research Foundation of CUNY
  86. Alexandra Minna Stern, PhD, University of Michigan
  87. Jon  Muller, Secretary, GE-free NZ in Food & Environment
  88. Stuart Newman, PhD, Professor of Cell Biology & Anatomy, New York Medical College
  89. Trang Quynh Nguyen, Assistant Scientist, Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  90. Judy Norsigian, Co-founder and Board chair, Our Bodies Ourselves
  91. Osagie K. Obasogie, PhD, JD, Haas Distinguished Chair and Professor of Bioethics, UC Berkeley Joint Medical Program, School of Public Health
  92. Archana Pandya, OpenGlobalRights
  93. Brendan Parent, JD, Director of Applied Bioethics, New York University
  94. Stuart Parkinson, Dr, Scientists for Global Responsibility, UK
  95. Elena Pasca, Philosopher, Editor of Pharmacritique, Founder of the AVEAG Victim Association, France
  96. Helena Paul, Co-Director, EcoNexus
  97. Hervé Perdry, PhD, Human Geneticist, Université Paris-Sud
  98. Beth N. Peshkin, MS, LCGC, Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
  99. David Petrasek, PhD, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa
  100. Angel Petropanagos, PhD, Quality Improvement Ethicist, William Osler Health System
  101. Bob Phelps, Executive Director, Gene Ethics, Australia
  102. Catherine Powell, Alliance for Humane Biotechnology
  103. Carolyn D.  Prouty, DVM, Faculty, Public Health and Health Sciences, The Evergreen State College
  104. Rhadika Rao, JD, Professor of Law and Harry & Lillian Hastings Research Chair, University of California, Hastings College of Law, San Francisco, California
  105. Elizabeth Reis, PhD, Macaulay Honors College, CUNY
  106. Claire  Robinson, Editor, GMWatch
  107. Ann Rojas-Cheatham
  108. Hilary Rose, PhD, Professor Emerita of Social Policy, University of Bradford
  109. Lisa Rubin, PhD, New School for Social Research
  110. Jade S. Sasser, PhD, University of California, Riverside
  111. Marsha Saxton, PhD, Director of Research, World Institute on Disability;  Lecturer, Disability Studies Program, UC Berkeley
  112. Pete  Shanks, Author
  113. Tom Sheahen, PhD, Director of the Institute for Theological Encounter with Science and Technology
  114. Stephen Shmanske, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Economics, California State University, East Bay
  115. MaryAnn Sorensen Allacci, PhD, Projects for Environmental Health, Knowledge, & Action, Inc.
  116. Malcolm Steinberg
  117. Tina Stevens, PhD, Alliance for Humane Biotechnology
  118. Alexander Stingl, Collège d'études mondiales
  119. Yeyang Su, a concerned member of our shared humanity
  120. Sun Wenyu, MD, Wuhan Institute of Virology, CAS
  121. José A. Tapia, MD, MPH, PhD(Econ), Associate Professor, Department of Politics, Drexel University
  122. Peter Taylor, PhD, Director, Science in a Changing World graduate track, University of Massachusetts at Boston
  123. Jacques Testart, Biologist, Honorary Senior Researcher Inserm (Paris, France)
  124. Jim Thomas, ETC Group
  125. Sheila R. Tully, PhD, Department of Anthropology, San Francisco State University
  126. France Winddance Twine, PhD, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara
  127. Mary Anne Urlakis, MA, PhD, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Donum Vitae Institute
  128. Britta van Beers, VU University Amsterdam Law School
  129. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, PhD, Honorary President, The Club of Rome and Past Co-Chair, International Resource Panel, UNEP
  130. Gabriele Werner-Felmayer, PhD, Medical University Innsbruck, Austria
  131. Alice Wong, Founder and Director, Disability Visibility Project
  132. Britt Wray, PhD
  133. Alicia Ely Yamin, JD, MPH, Georgetown University Law Center and Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health
  134. Weilan Ye, PhD, Head of the Vascular Biology Program, Molecular Oncology Division, Genentech Inc.
  135. Silvia Yee, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
  136. Luming Zhou, PhD, Department of Pathology, University of Utah

Individual Signatures Received after December 1, 2018

  1. Haiming Chen, PhD, Director of the Center for Global Governance and Law, Xiamen University of Technology, China
  2. Boris Pinto, Bosque University
  3. Lilia Wang, A Caring Global Citizen
  4. Qing Huang, Ms
  5. Suman Sahai, Uttaranchal
  6. Margarida Silva, Portuguese Catholic University
  7. Kaliris Salas-Ramirez, CUNY School of Medicine
  8. Katie Stoll, Genetic Support Foundation, Washington
  9. Ana Perincic
  10. Mahendra Singh, PhD, Freelance Science communicator (, India
  11. Ruha Benjamin, PhD, Associate Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University
  12. Jo Ann Egan
  13. Mylene Botbol Baum, PhD, UCLouvain





  1. Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)
  2. Center for Genetics and Society
  3. Earth Action Canada
  4. FOODwatch Western Australia
  5. Friends of the Earth, Australia
  6. Friends of the Earth, US
  7. GE Free Northland, Aotearoa/NZ
  8. GE-free NZ in Food & Environment
  9. Genetic Support Foundation
  10. GM Watch
  11. Human Genetics Alert
  12. Sciences Citoyennes
  13. Scientists for Global Responsibility, UK
  14. Vigilance OGM, Canada