The Nuffield Council on Bioethics and Sciencewise co-hosted a workshop to discuss the possibilities and limitations of public dialogue for genome editing policy and regulation on 17 March 2016.

The workshop focused on identifying policy issues relating to genome editing that are likely to raise public interest and concern, and ways in which hearing from the public might contribute to understanding the societal implications of the technologies.

A report has now been published that summarises the discussion on the day and some ideas for ways forward – download the report Public dialogue on genome editing: Why? When? Who?

The report addresses questions such as:

  • Are there specific applications requiring urgent dialogue?
  • Might dialogue be unnecessary, premature or counterproductive?
  • What is the place of public dialogue as part of a bigger conversation?

The workshop was chaired by Roland Jackson, member of the Nuffield Council and recently Executive Chair of Sciencewise – read his thoughts about the event on the Nuff’ Said blog.

Participants included researchers and research funders involved with developing genome editing techniques including in human, animal and plant science, policy makers in related areas, and experts in dialogue design and evaluation.

Later this year the Council will publish an interim report on the moral questions raised by the rapid diffusion on of genome editing in the biological and biomedical sciences. Find out more about the Council’s project on genome editing.