Biopolitics

Biopolitics refers to public understandings, public policies, and public-interest advocacy about the social meanings and consequences of human biotechnologies. Biopolitics in the 21st century has come to reflect the rapid acceleration of technological developments since the birth of the modern biotechnology industry in the 1970s, the increasingly blurred boundary between academic and commercial biology, and growing recognition of the need for public and political engagement, especially with profoundly consequential prospects including human gene editing for reproduction. In some countries, notably the U.S., biopolitical views are not always aligned with political positioning on other issues. Public interest advocates working in a biopolitical framework emphasize the importance of social justice to evaluations of technological innovations.


Biopolitical Times

Public and policy conversations about heritable human genome editing often leave the impression that rules governing it are few and far between. Many news reports and scholarly articles present global governance as starting from a more or less blank slate; some also suggest that global agreement on this controversial issue would be unlikely. This view skims over some inconvenient facts, like the existence of the Oviedo Convention, a binding international treaty signed by 29 European countries, which prohibits heritable...

Biopolitical Times

On September 3rd, Heritable Human Genome Editing was published. This Report was the work of a multinational Commission organized by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences and Medicine and the U.K. Royal Society. Its explicit conclusion, as described in the press release, is two-fold: first, that heritable genome editing is not yet safe or effective enough for human application; second, that the first clinical uses of it should be restricted to serious diseases caused by a single aberrant...

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In August 2017, scientists reported that they had used the gene-editing tool CRISPR–Cas9 to correct a mutation in viable human...

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To converse with Shobita Parthasarathy is to be enveloped in two kinds of warmth: that of a generous-spirited, energetic, and...

Earth wearing a face mask

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Dr. He Jiankui in his lab

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Woman protesting with a sign that says "Listen to the Science!" hanging on her backpack

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Cleveland Clinic Miller Family Pavilion

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Hastings Center logo

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FDA sign and building

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