BERKELEY, Calif. — Diverse voices and leading experts will convene at the University of California, Berkeley, on August 16—17 for CRISPRcon: Science, Society, and the Future of Gene Editing. The conference is the first of its kind to bring together farmers, doctors, patients, environmentalists, consumers, nonprofits, community leaders, and more to discuss the CRISPR-Cas technology. CRISPRcon will provide a unique forum to explore a wide range of potential applications, from human and animal health to agriculture and conservation.
“Fulfilling the promise and the potential of CRISPR technology requires collaboration and thoughtful, open dialogue,” says Jennifer Doudna, professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a pioneer in the field of CRISPR biology and genome editing. “CRISPRcon will provide a forum for the kind of honest discourse we need to examine what a future with CRISPR technology might look like, and what its continued advancement might require in terms of policy and oversight.”
CRISPR technology allows for precise changes to be made to the DNA of living cells, which holds the potential to eradicate diseases, transform agriculture, and enable massive leaps forward in environmental and life science. Through a series of keynotes, panels, and interactive discussions, CRISPRcon will provide a forum for everyone with a stake in CRISPR to share ideas, ask and answer questions, and explore the path forward.
The Keystone Policy Center is facilitating this one-and-a-half-day event, and has crafted a program to examine the social dimensions of CRISPR in medicine, food, and the environment, as well as the role of regulation and social acceptance in determining the future of CRISPR. Dr. Doudna will provide opening remarks; Greg Simon, the director of the Biden Cancer Initiative, will deliver a keynote address; and KQED’s Host of Forum, Michael Krasny, will act as emcee.
Further panel topics and participants include:
- Envisioning 2050: Where might CRISPR take us – and do we want to go there? (Moderator: Jennifer Kahn, Journalist)
Panelists: Marcy Darnovsky, Center for Genetics and Society; Eri Gentry, Institute for the Future; Pastor Michael McBride, PICO National Network; Ted Nordhaus, The Breakthrough Institute; Thomas Titus, Tri Pork Inc.
- CRISPR in the Public Eye: Societal perceptions of science (Moderator: Sarah Davidson, Cornell University)
Panelists: Roxi Beck, Center for Food Integrity; Rick Loverd, National Academies of Science; Michael Specter, The New Yorker; Ting Wu, Harvard Medical School
- Genome Surgery: CRISPR cures, community perceptions, and questions of equity (Moderator: Lorez Meinhold, Keystone Policy Center)
Panelists: Shakir Cannon, Minority Coalition for Precision Medicine; Bruce Conklin, UC San Francisco; Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Emory University; Osagie Obasogie, UC Berkeley; Mark Walters, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
- If We Edit It, Will We Eat It?: Social acceptance of CRISPR in food (Moderator: Michael Fernandez, GW Sustainability Collaborative)
Panelists: Cassie Edgar, Genus; Dana Perls, Friends of the Earth; Paul Shapiro, Humane Society of the United States; Tom Willey, T&D Willey Farms
- If It’s CRISPR, Is It Wild?: Considerations for CRISPR in conservation (Moderator: Nathanael Johnson, Grist)
Panelists: Aroha Te Pareake Mead, Independent Maori Researcher; Ryan Phelan, Revive and Restore; Simon Stuart,Synchronicity Earth; Jim Thomas, ETC Group
- Whether and How: Who determines the future of CRISPR? (Moderator: Jennifer Kuzma, North Carolina State University)
Panelists: Carla Easter, National Institutes of Health National Human Genome Research Institute; Donovan Guttieres, UN Major Group on Children & Youth; Gregory Jaffe, Center for Science in the Public Interest; Larisa Rudenko, Visiting Scholar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Where to from Here?: Closing reflections on CRISPR, science, and society (Moderator: Michael Krasny, KQED Forum)
Panelists: James Corbett, Centura Health; Andrea Crisanti, Imperial College London; Claudia Emerson, McMaster University; Neal Gutterson, DuPont Pioneer
For further review of the current agenda, speakers, steering committee members, and sponsors, please visit www.crisprcon.org. To register, follow the registration links on the CRISPRcon website.
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