Alta Charo: What's Next for Genome Editing Governance?

Tui Shaub

In this fascinating presentation, Alta Charo (Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and former Berggruen Fellow) charts the landscape of heritable and non-heritable human genomic editing and respective efforts globally to reduce actual and projected harms through legislation.

From the legal quandaries that have arisen since the recent controversial CRISPR tinkering of twin baby girls in China to be resistant to HIV infection, to the deliberate elimination of undesirable traits in non-heritable procedures, she covers the full spectrum of challenges and approaches to legal and moral frameworks.

These frameworks are grafted onto a technology that is only accelerating around its subject: the constantly-changing human. Charo challenges us to consider how we might navigate moral, ethical, and legal questions without falling prey to relativism or hyper-vigilance in the form of excessive restrictions.

Here at the Berggruen Institute, the Transformations of the Human (ToftH) program explores these questions in relation to where, and if, lines can be neatly drawn between natural technologies and the Human.