Inside the Global Race to Genetically Modify Humans
This fascinating book examines the politics, ethics and economics of gene therapies, and the scientists, lobbyists, entrepreneurs and activists remaking the human race.
An anthropologist visits the frontiers of the next scientific revolution to ask- whose values are guiding gene editing experiments, and what are the implications for humanity?
At a conference in Hong Kong in November 2018, Dr He Jiankui announced that he had created the first genetically modified babies - twin girls named Lulu and Nana - sending shockwaves around the world. A year later, a Chinese court sentenced Dr He to three years in prison for 'illegal medical practice'.
As scientists elsewhere start to catch up with China's vast genetic research program, gene editing is fuelling an innovation economy that threatens to widen racial and economic inequality. Fundamental questions about science, health and social justice are at stake. Who gets access to gene editing technologies? As countries around the globe, from the United States to Indonesia, loosen regulations, can we shape research agendas to promote an ethical and fair society?
In The Mutant Project, Eben Kirksey takes us on a groundbreaking journey to meet the key scientists, lobbyists and entrepreneurs who are bringing cutting-edge genetic modification tools like CRISPR to your local clinic. He also ventures beyond the scientific echo chamber, talking to disabled scholars, doctors, hackers, activists and chronically ill patients who have alternative visions of a future shaped by genetic engineering.
About the Author
Eben Kirksey is an expert on science and justice. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Atlantic and Wired. He is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and an associate professor of anthropology at Deakin University, Melbourne. Kirksey is the author of Freedom in Entangled Worlds and Emergent Ecologies.