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.

Profile picture for user Pete Shanks

Publications

a gloved hand picking up a part of a DNA strand with forceps
By Pete Shanks, The Progressive Magazine | 12.04.2023

Five years ago, on November 25, 2018, the world learned that a rogue Chinese scientist, He Jiankui, had created the...

Stem cell injection
By Pete Shanks, Capitol Weekly | 10.26.2020

At a time of budget crisis, Proposition 14 commits California to spending $5 billion (plus interest) that we don’t have...

scientist looking at a computer monitor
By Pete Shanks, The Progressive | 08.14.2019

In mid-July, a bipartisan trio of U.S. Senators—Democrats Dianne Feinstein of California and Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Republican...

In the News

sickle cell in test tube
By Carolyn Y. Johnson, The Washington Post [cites CGS’ Pete Shanks ] | 12.08.2023

The first medicine based on gene editing, a one-time therapy for sickle cell disease, was just approved in the...

a gloved hand picking up a part of a DNA strand with forceps
By Pete Shanks, The Progressive Magazine | 12.04.2023

Five years ago, on November 25, 2018, the world learned that a rogue Chinese scientist, He Jiankui, had created the...

Stem cell injection
By Pete Shanks, Capitol Weekly | 10.26.2020

At a time of budget crisis, Proposition 14 commits California to spending $5 billion (plus interest) that we don’t have...

Biopolitical Times

Sheep have been domesticated for roughly 12,000 years. Sheep have also been cloned since 1996; Dolly (pictured) was the first...

23andMe’s stock price since late 2020

23andMe, the first-off-the-blocks personal genomics company, has been struggling lately. In October, there were...

Screenshot from 1988 SNL skit

Modern transhumanists can be remarkably absurd. Case in point: the Enhanced Games. Peter Thiel...

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...