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


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...

A Troublesome Inheritance Book Cover
By Pete Shanks, The Huffington Post | 06.09.2014

Nicholas Wade's book A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History has been out for a month, and the fuss...

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

Genetic testing for fun and profit is by now part of the consumer landscape. For less than $100, consumers...

Screenshot from Genomic Prediction presentation

The first child acknowledged to have been selected as an embryo on the basis of...