What Does It Mean to Be Human? Rethinking Belonging at the Frontier of Genetic Engineering

Saturday, May 4 | 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Current Affairs

George Estreich and Jamie Metzl, moderated by Lance Knobel

New biomedical technologies—from prenatal testing to gene-editing techniques—raise questions about who counts as human, what it means to belong, and how far we should go in retooling the human genome. In “Fables and Futures: Biotechnology, Disability, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves,” George Estreich, a poet with a daughter with Down Syndrome, explores new technologies that grant unprecedented power to predict and shape future people. In “Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity,” technology futurist Jamie Metzl “brings us to the frontiers of biology and technology, and reveals a world full of promise and peril,” writes Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD. When we can engineer our future children, massively extend our lifespans, and build life from scratch, should we? Which people, which variations, will we welcome?

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