Gene Editing: Life and Law Beyond the Human

Workshop on Emerging Issues in Genetics and the Law — October 21 & 22, 2016

Location: 509 O'Brian Hall, UB North Campus

Contact: Irus Braverman, Irusb@buffalo.edu

October 21 and 22, 2016, join us for a groundbreaking workshop that will bring together scholars from a diverse range of disciplines to contemplate the cultural, scientific, regulatory, and normative implications of gene editing technologies for the future of life.

Workshop Organizer

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Workshop Synopsis: Emerging biotechnologies such as CRISPR and gene drives are ushering in a new era of genetic engineering. In this new era, the technical means to modify life are becoming cheaper, faster, more accurate, and more widely accessible than ever before. Gene editing technologies have already made it possible to engineer ourselves, our food animals, and our crops. More recently, they are also being developed to intentionally and rapidly alter or even drive to extinction certain species such as mosquitoes, with far-reaching implications for the management of human diseases, including malaria, dengue, Zika, and Lyme. In other words: gene editing technologies are increasingly granting humans the power to engineer life at all scales.

What kind of futures do gene editing technologies portend and what imaginaries of progress, risk, and control guide their regulation? This two-day groundbreaking workshop will bring together scholars from a diverse range of disciplines including law, philosophy, biology, ecology, anthropology, medicine, media, and the arts to contemplate the complex cultural, scientific, regulatory, and normative implications of gene editing technologies for the future of life. The participants will examine and problematize the evolving regulatory approaches to gene editing within, and beyond, the human. As part of the workshop, three of the participants will give a public lecture at the Center for the Arts, with comments and questions from the other participants to follow.


This workshop is sponsored by the UB School of Law, UB GEM, and the Baldy Center.


Gaymon Bennett, PhD, Assistant Professor of Religion, Science, and Technology, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, Arizona State University

Irus Braverman, LLB, SJD, Professor; William J. Magavern Faculty Scholar, School of Law, University at Buffalo

Amy Hinterberger, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick, UK

J. Benjamin Hurlbut, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University

Todd Kuiken, PhD, Senior Program Associate; Co-Director, Biology Collectives;  Science and Technology Innovation Program, Woodrow Wilson Center

Jennifer Kuzma, PhD, Goodnight-NCGSK Foundation Distinguished Professor; Co-Director, Genetic Engineering and Society Center, School of Public and International Affairs, North Carolina State University

Stuart A. Newman, PhD, Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Department of Cell Biology & Anatomy, New York Medical College

Ron Sandler, PhD, Professor, Department of Philosophy; Director, Ethics Institute, Northeastern University

Alexander J. Travis, VMD, PhD, Associate Professor of Reproductive Biology, Baker Institute for Animal Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University

Discussants and Commentators

Lori Andrews, JD, Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for Science, Law and Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology

James Bono, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of History and Department of Medicine; Chair, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences, History, University at Buffalo

Kevin Esvelt, PhD, Assistant Professor, MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Marc Halfon, PhD, Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo

Stephen Hilgartner, PhD, Professor, Department of Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University

Sheila Jasanoff, PhD, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies; Director, Program on Science, Technology and Society, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University

Paul Vanouse, MFA, Professor, Director, MFA Program, Department of Art; Program Head, Emerging Practices; Director, Coalesce Center for Biological Art, College of Arts and Sciences, University at Buffalo

Workshop Poster

Gene Editing.

Related Event: The Mitchell Lecture