Marsilius Lecture Summer Semester 2024Scientific Progress and the Need for Oversight

Prof. George Q. Daley, MD, PhD
Stem Cell Science and Cancer Biology
Dean of Harvard Medical School and the Caroline Shields Walker Professor of Medicine at HMS
Monday, 1. July 2024, 16.00, The Great Hall of the Old University

Technology has contributed to enormous gains in our standard of living and quality of life, yet transformative discoveries across a range of disciplines have typically provoked concern for the misuse of technologies and worries for the disruptive impacts on society. In response to biomedical advances including recombinant DNA, stem cells, cloning and CRISPR gene editing, scientists have self-organized and specified responsible mechanisms of regulatory oversight with the goal of optimizing benefits over risks. Often, science advances at a pace that overwhelms society’s capacity to anticipate and prepare for the oncoming transformations, prompting widespread apprehension. To date, little regulatory guidance exists for in vitro gametogenesis, ectogenesis, gene drive, synthetic biology, anti-aging, mind-machine coupling, amongst others. Moreover, the rapid pace of technology is predicted to accelerate with the advent of generative AI, which itself has provoked consternation and proven vexing to regulate. Dr. Daley will share his experience co-authoring international guidelines governing the conduct of stem cell research and gene editing. He will describe the effort by the US National Academy of Medicine to develop a generalized framework for responsible oversight of emerging biotechnologies.

Plakat George Q. Daley Marsilius-Vorlesung SoSe 2024