Professor Margaret Sleeboom-Faulkner
Professor of Social & Medical Anthropology, University of Sussex
Margaret Sleeboom-Faulkner is Professor of Social and Medical Anthropology at the University of Sussex (Brighton, UK). Her work concerns processes of nation-state building in China and Japan and biotechnology and society in Asia. See: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/profiles/192052/publications. Margaret’s research projects concern international life science networks in the fields of biobanking and biomaterials, and stem cell therapies and experimentality (funded by the ERC and ESRC respectively). In these projects she combines anthropological approaches and social studies of science.
11:30-13:00 21 November
Thematic Sessions I. c. What Humans Will Be after Genome Editing of Human Embryonic Stem Cells?
Human genomic data can provide increasingly dense pictures of health conditions. Especially monogenic disorders, but over time also polygenic conditions will be subject to the enterprise of embryo selection and manipulation. The increased ability to create gametes and embryos on a large scale through iPS and hyperstimulation is likely to a lead to the escalation of embryo selection and manipulation, especially as confidence in the statistical knowledge of the genetic component of features, such as IQ and Alzheimer’s will be growing. It is questionable whether warnings against off target edits, the omnigenic nature of most genetic diseases will prevent commercial applications. As I was asked to discuss the theme of social justice, I will confine myself to issues of discrimination, social values, and competition and experimentation at local, national and international levels. I will not proceed from a transhumanist view that pitches future humanity against cybrids and cyborgs in a world predominantly characterised by the struggle for life. Rather, I will extrapolate what I know of social justice in relation to empirical social-science research into genomics and Regenerative Medicine.
Key words: regulatory enablement; embryo selection and manipulation; gen-ethnic cleansing; social justice