Pete Shanks

Pete Shanks, MA, attended Oxford University, where he studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and moved to California in the mid-1970s. He has been active in a range of local and international political movements, while mostly making his living in the publishing industry, especially on the production side; he enjoys the craft of bookmaking. Appalled by the eugenic possibilities of biotechnology, he has consulted with the Center for Genetics and Society since its earliest days. He is the author of Human Genetic Engineering: A Guide for Activists, Skeptics, and the Very Perplexed (Nation Books) and a regular contributor to Biopolitical Times.

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Publications

"Proceed with caution" traffic sign, against a blue sky.
By Pete Shanks, Deccan Chronicle | 10.02.2016

News broke this week that the first “three-parent” baby had been born. But the untested and controversial nature of the...

Image of a person with gloves holding a petri dish.
By Pete Shanks, Deccan Chronicle | 05.22.2016

On May 10, about 130 scientists, entrepreneurs and others held an invitation-only event at Harvard. Organisers told invitees not to...

Strands of DNA
By Pete Shanks, Huffington Post | 12.10.2014

Money and deals are flowing into companies that promise to edit genes. Human, animal, plant, all kinds of DNA may...

In the News

Illustration of cells
By Pete Shanks, Medium | 02.02.2018

Let’s Not Distort Debates about Human Cloning and Heritable Gene Editing

Cloning is back in the headlines. Researchers managed to...

Three boxes of 23andMe kits stand upright in a line. Two of the boxes have been blurred, and one of them is centrally focused.
By Pete Shanks, Medical Laboratory Observer | 07.25.2017

The direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing industry has been around for just over a decade. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration...

A wooden-like figure of a child builds a colorful tower of blocks. The child sits in a background surrounded by white and black checkered flooring.
By Pete Shanks, Deccan Chronicle | 01.01.2017

The next year may represent our best chance to prevent the rise of a modern, uncontrolled and dangerously ill-considered techno-eugenics....

Biopolitical Times

On August 13, 2018, Molecular Therapy published a report (Open Access) that explicitly “suggests the efficiency and genetic...

At irregular intervals over the last decade or so, Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg of The Fertility Institutes has used the media...

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) is running out of money. It is also running out of time to...

Talks and Testimonies

Shaping SF Panel presenters Tito Jankowski, Elliot Hosman, and Pete Shank look thoughyfully engaged in discussion. Above them is a quote from Jennifer Doudna stating, "Once the discovery is made, it's out there. Anybody with basic molecular biology training can use it for genome editing. That's a bit scary."

Synthetic Biology Shaping San Francisco hosted a forum titled, "Synthetic Biology: DIY Tinkering Meets Big Capital." 

Full video and transcript can be...