We are proud to partner with Family Action Network as they present Eben Kirksey, Ph.D. in a conversation with Britt Wray, Ph.D. They'll be discussing Dr. Kirksey's new book, The Mutant Project: Inside the Global Race to Genetically Modify Humans. This event is free and open to the public. Register HERE. Attendees who purchase either The Mutant Project or Britt Wray's book, Rise of the Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics and Risks of De-Extinction, will be invited to attend an AFTER-HOURS event hosted by Prof. Kirksey and Dr. Wray that will start immediately after the webinar.
About the Book: At a conference in Hong Kong in November 2018, Dr. He Jiankui announced that he had created the first genetically modified babies-twin girls named Lulu and Nana-sending shockwaves around the world. A year later, a Chinese court sentenced Dr. He to three years in prison for "illegal medical practice." As scientists elsewhere start to catch up with China's vast genetic research program, gene editing is fueling an innovation economy that threatens to widen racial and economic inequality. Fundamental questions about science, health, and social justice are at stake: Who gets access to gene editing technologies? As countries loosen regulations around the globe, from the U.S. to Indonesia, can we shape research agendas to promote an ethical and fair society? Eben Kirksey takes us on a groundbreaking journey to meet the key scientists, lobbyists, and entrepreneurs who are bringing cutting-edge genetic engineering tools like CRISPR to your local clinic. He also ventures beyond the scientific echo chamber, talking to disabled scholars, doctors, hackers, chronically-ill patients, and activists who have alternative visions of a genetically modified future for humanity. The Mutant Project empowers us to ask the right questions, uncover the truth, and navigate this brave new world.
"Should the technology be reserved for addressing disease and correcting serious physical abnormalities? Or is human enhancement (bigger muscles, extra height) fair game too? And what about the prospects of genetic discrimination by potential employers and insurance companies? Who decides what is abnormal, and what forms of human augmentation (super soldiers) is considered reasonable? Kirksey tackles many of these complex issues, including ethics, social justice, inequality, threats of eugenics, and the influence of money on science...Science fiction is increasingly becoming science reality. Be concerned." --Booklist
"Lucid study of recent efforts to alter the human gene to end hereditary diseases, a project fraught with ethical and medical implications... A readable, provocative look at biological tinkering that will doubtless shape the future, whether we like it or not.' --Kirkus Review
"The Mutant Project might provoke and disturb as it raises unsettling questions about the nature of human life, technology and corporate and personal greed, but Kirksey's entertaining and fascinating combination of detective story, medical history and ethics is a must-read.' --Book Page
About the Author: EBEN KIRKSEY is an American anthropologist and Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He has been published in Wired, The Atlantic, The Guardian and The Sunday Times. He is sought out as an expert on science in society by the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Democracy Now, Time and the BBC, among other media outlets. He speaks widely at the world's leading academic institutions including Oxford, Yale, Columbia, UCLA, and the International Summit of Human Genome Editing, plus music festivals, art exhibits, and community events. Professor Kirksey holds a long-term position at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia.
About the Interlocutor: Britt Wray, Ph.D., is a science writer, broadcaster, and researcher focusing on synthetic biology and the psychological impacts of the climate crisis. Dr. Wray is the author of Rise of the Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics and Risks of De-Extinction, and her forthcoming book Generation Dread explores wide ranging psychological and emotional responses to climate disruption, as well as what can be done to cope. Dr. Wray has hosted several science podcasts, radio programs, and televisions shows with the BBC and CBC, holds a Ph.D. in Science Communication from the University of Copenhagen, and is a TED Resident.
This event will be recorded and available on the FAN website and YouTube channel.
BONUS AFTER-HOURS EVENT: Attendees who purchase a copy of Kirksey's book The Mutant Project: Inside the Global Race to Genetically Modify Humans and/or Wray’s book Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics, and Risks of De-Extinction from The Book Stall are invited to an AFTER-HOURS event hosted by Kirksey and Wray that will start immediately after the webinar. Scroll down to buy the book!
NOTE: The link to register for the AFTER-HOURS will appear in red font at the top of your email receipt from The Book Stall. Please look for it!
An anthropologist visits the frontiers of genetics, medicine, and technology to ask: Whose values are guiding gene editing experiments? And what does this new era of scientific inquiry mean for the future of the human species?
"That rare kind of scholarship that is also a page-turner."
—Britt Wray, author of Rise of the Necrofauna
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The New Yorker and Science News