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Play‑Doh Republic: Controlling Human Evolution from Ancient Greece to the Age of CRISPR

Posted by nte on June 24, 2016 in Public Lectures
Image courtesy of Carlos Mariscal
Image courtesy of Carlos Mariscal

Public talk

Speaker: Nathaniel Comfort, Professor at the Institute of the History of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University

Friday, June 24, 2016 (3:00PM)
Paul O'Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Rd.
Download event poster.

Breakthrough technologies such as CRISPR-cas9 are touted has having great promise for treating and preventing disease. But some advocates ask why we should stop there. We have the opportunity—even the duty—they say, to wrest control of human evolution from the blind, cruel forces of nature. Prof. Comfort will explore the history and motivations behind human genetic improvement, as well as what’s at stake in these debates. Taking the long view suggests that the urge to control our own evolution—and our sense of how close we are to doing so—are independent of either technology or knowledge.

Nathaniel Comfort (PhD) is the author ofThe Science of Human Perfection: How Genes Became the Heart of American Medicine and The Tangled Field: Barbara McClintock's Search for the Patterns of Genetic Control.

See Professor Comfort's blog, Genotopia.

Sponsored by The Royal Society of Canada Atlantic/La Société royale du Canada Atlantique.