- July 19, 2018
- 7:00 pm
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Human biotechnology is rooted in biology—genes, cells, and living organisms are manipulated to develop new technology with the goal to restore and improve human lives.
Historically, cutting edge research at the intersection of biology and technology brought us vaccines, cancer therapies, organ transplantation, and even babies. In a few years, science fiction will turn into science fact as human biotechnology takes us into uncharted waters. Smart contact lenses, 3-D printed organs, ulcer fighting robots, and limb regeneration are poised to revolutionize health and medicine. With the advent of CRISPR, gene editing could become more accurate and even ‘easy'.
Human biotechnology is also shaped by historical influences and social dynamics, legal decisions, and policy systems. The effects of these technologies already reach beyond research labs and doctors' offices and are likely to reshape our lives, families, and societies-altering our understanding of what it means to be human.
How do we envision and plan for a future where biotech is safe and ethical for everyone? How do scientists, lawmakers, and the public develop a framework for the ethical development, stewardship, and regulation of human biotechnologies? As biotech advances, the scientific community and the public have the opportunity to consider the possible future outcomes of this research.
Join experts Marcy Darnovsky and Osagie K. Obasogie as they discuss current and emerging human biotechnologies, explore social questions raised by human genetic technologies, and tackle the question: Just because we can intervene with the human genome, should we?
Marcy Darnovsky, PhD is Executive Director at the Center for Genetics and Society, a Berkeley, California-based social justice organization that works to ensure an equitable future in which human genetic and assisted reproductive technologies benefit the common good. She speaks and writes widely on human biotechnologies, focusing on their social justice, equity, human rights, and public interest implications.
Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Nature, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, New Scientist, and many others; she has appeared on dozens of television, radio, and online news shows and has been interviewed and cited in hundreds of news and magazine articles. An anthology (co-edited with Osagie Obasogie), Beyond Bioethics: Towards a New Biopolitics is forthcoming in March 2018 from the University of California Press.
She has worked as an organizer and advocate in a range of environmental and progressive political movements, and taught courses at Sonoma State University and at California State University East Bay. Her PhD is from the History of Consciousness program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Osagie K. Obasogie, JD, PhD is Haas Distinguished Chair and Professor of Bioethics at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Joint Medical Program and School of Public Health. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for Genetics and Society. Osagie's scholarly interests include Constitutional law, bioethics, sociology of law, and reproductive and genetic technologies.
His writings have spanned both academic and public audiences, with journal articles in venues such as the Law & Society Review, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, Stanford Technology Law Review, and the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics along with commentaries in outlets including the New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, and New Scientist.
His first book, Blinded By Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind (Stanford University Press) was awarded the Herbert Jacob Book Prize by the Law and Society Association. His second book, Beyond Bioethics: Towards a New Biopolitics (co-edited with Marcy Darnovsky), examines the past, present, and future of bioethics and is forthcoming with the University of California Press. Obasogie received his BA in Sociology and Political Science (with distinction in both majors) from Yale University, his JD from Columbia Law School where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and his PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley where he was a fellow with the National Science Foundation.