In December 2021, the Global Observatory held an online workshop titled A Question of Life. We asked several of the panelists to shed light on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision by comparing the framings of abortion politics and constellations of rights and responsibilities across their respective countries of focus.
The Observatory's Directors guest-edited the November 2020 issue of the journal Science, Technology, & Human Values. This collection of essays, “Constitutionalism at the nexus of life and law,” explores how revolutions in notions of biological life are eliciting correspondingly revolutionary imaginations of how life should be governed.
In The CRISPR Journal, the Observatory's Directors call for the need for more reflection and diverse perspectives in setting the agenda for the democratic global governance of genome editing.
The Observatory's Directors led the formulation of a pair of consensus statements, one on conceptual challenges and this one on institutional design, signed by nearly all of the participants in the Editorial Aspirations meeting and published in Trends in Biotechnology in 2018.
The Observatory's Directors led the formulation of a pair of consensus statements, this one on conceptual challenges and the other on institutional design, signed by nearly all of the participants in the Editorial Aspirations meeting and published in Trends in Biotechnology in 2018.
The Observatory initiative grew out of a meeting entitled Editorial Aspirations: Human Integrity at the Frontiers of Biology held at Harvard in April, 2017.
In Issues in Science and Technology, the Observatory's Directors argue that the precedent of expert self-governance set by Asilomar is not sufficient for the necessary public engagement and deliberation around genome editing technologies.
Sheila Jasanoff, Director, Global Observatory for Genome Editing reflects on how the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization ignores scientific and cultural shifts in how we think about reproduction, life, and rights.
David Winickoff, OECD Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation, Division of Science and Technology Policy offers a few reflections on the capacities and incapacities of soft law as a mechanism for intervening in the complex landscape of global governance.
Kaushik Sunder Rajan, University of Chicago expresses hope is that as we consider the establishment of norms for genome editing via a Global Observatory, we can build capacity for social imagination that is more comparative and less parochial than American socio-technical imaginaries currently tend to be.
Laurence Lwoff, Head Bioethics Unit, Council of Europe reflects on how the Global Observatory and its objectives echo some of the concerns that guide the Council of Europe’s work on the protection of human rights in biomedicine.
Peter Mills, Nuffield Council on Bioethics argues that what has been missing from public debate is a venue for the expression and comparison of excluded interests, insights and values that are often unrepresented in the preeminent venues of international dialogue on heritable genome editing.
A new infrastructure is urgently needed at the global level to facilitate exchange on key issues concerning genome editing. We advocate the establishment of a global observatory to serve as a center for international, interdisciplinary, and cosmopolitan reflection. This article is the first of a two-part series.
J. Benjamin Hurlbut, Sheila Jasanoff, and Krishanu Saha guest-edited the November 2020 issue of the journal Science, Technology, & Human Values. This essay introduces a collection of articles gathered under the theme of “law, science, and constitutions of life.” Together, they explore how revolutions in notions of what biological life is are eliciting correspondingly revolutionary imaginations of how life should be governed.
Modern science must move away from the narrow question of technology’s safe use to broader questions of what conceptions of human flourishing should guide the application of powerful tools in fields such as biotechnology. The Global Observatory for Genome Editing will help make this happen.
Sheila Jasanoff and J. Benjamin Hurlbut call for an international network of scholars and organizations to support a new kind of conversation.
An international regulatory commission convened by scientific academies is a premature and problematic approach to governing human germline genome editing. Given the complex, international landscape of genome editing and significant cross-national differences among regulatory cultures, deferring to a single commission to set the agenda for global governance raises troublesome questions of framing and representation.
The Global Observatory for Genome Editing grew out of this event, which took place at Harvard University in 2017. It drew together a diverse group of international leaders, including scientists who made fundamental contributions to the development of CRISPR, the former chair of the German National Ethics Council, a member of the Catholic Church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the director of bioethics at the World Health Organization, the chair of the secretariat on Biomedicine and Human Rights at the Council of Europe, and numerous others.
A new infrastructure is urgently needed at the global level to facilitate exchange on key issues concerning genome editing. We advocate the establishment of a global observatory to serve as a center for international, interdisciplinary, and cosmopolitan reflection. This article is the second of a two-part series.
CRISPR raises basic questions about the rightful place of science in governing the future in democratic societies. This editorial argues that the 1975 Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA is a poor model for governance of emerging gene editing technologies. The authors argue that study and deliberation can be steered in more democratic directions by focusing on four themes: envisioning futures, distribution, trust, and provisionality.