Panel Discusses Ethics and Genetic Technologies

The Program in Bioscience and Biotechnology Studies of The Bancroft Library, The Office for History of Science and Technology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Townsend Center for the Humanities sponsored a panel discussion on the Berkeley campus on March 14, 2001 that brought together experts to discuss the ethical and social dimensions of new and emerging genetic technologies.

The discussion moderator, Charles Weiner, is Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During spring 2001, Dr. Weiner was a visiting professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley offering an undergraduate course in bioethics and a graduate seminar entitled, "Bioethics and Society."

Diane Beeson is chair of the Department of Sociology and Social Services at California State University-Hayward. Her current research focuses on responses to genetic testing among families at risk for cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease, and family dynamics and interaction related to responses to genetic testing within "high-risk" families.

Medical geneticist Paul Billings is co-founder of GeneSage and editor-in-chief of GeneLetter. During spring 2001 he offered a course through the UC Berkeley Department of Anthropology entitled, "Genomics and Society."

Marcy Darnovsky is research director for the Exploratory Initiative on the New Human Genetic Technologies and edits Genetic Crossroads, a monthly newsletter. She teaches courses in the politics of science, technology, and the environment, including "Biotechnology and the Public Interest," in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University.

A PDF version of the transcript of the discussion is now available.

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