S&T invites the public to a community-wide discussion on gene editing

News and Events

Missouri University of Science and Technology’s biological sciences department will host a public forum, “Editing our Evolution: Rewriting the Human Genome,” from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, in the Carver-Turner Room of the Havener Center on campus.
The meeting is free and open to the public, and anyone interested in participating in a discussion on this topic is encouraged to attend. Individuals interested in attending should register online at rol.la/humangenome by June 18.
As gene editing techniques become more refined, the possibility of editing the human genome moves from science fiction to reality, says Dr. David Westenberg, associate professor of biological sciences and leader of the forum.
Bridging the communication gap between science and society is an essential issue surrounding genome editing, he says, noting that some in the scientific community call for strict regulations on gene editing while others are excited about the possibilities.
“Engaging the community through informal dialogue with scientists and researchers is an important avenue to building understanding that affects health and science literacy, as well as policy-making,” Westenberg says. “I’m committed to reaching out beyond the academic setting to help everyone in the community understand how scientific knowledge can improve their quality of life.”
The forum will include both small- and large-group discussions about the line between genetic therapy and enhancement, issues of equity and access, and the possibility of making genetic changes that would last through a generation.
The program was developed in conjunction with the Boston Museum of Science with funding provided by the National Science Foundation.
Light refreshments will be served.
To learn more, contact Westenberg at djwesten@mst.edu or 573-341-4798.

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