Genetics Alert (HGA;1) invites members of the media to a briefing on
April 9th (2) which will present an alternative view on
the current celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the
discovery of the structure of DNA. HGA believes that the
uncritical celebrations of the anniversary ignore many of the
ethical and social issues raised by genetics; this briefing is the
only event in London that attempts to redress the balance. Leading experts(3), including
Dr Ian Gibson MP, Chair of the House of Commons Science and
Technology Committee, will ask:
the DNA revolution really lived up to its
genetics being applied in the public interest, or that of
we worry about eugenics and designer babies?
believes that, while the DNA revolution has led to many exciting
insights into how genes work, the medical benefits have often been
over-sold. This is partly because researchers' narrow focus on
genetics has led to a simplistic view of how biology and disease
works. Meanwhile, genetics is constantly throwing up ethical issues,
that are not being adequately discussed. An underlying problem is
the increasing control of research by corporations.
Director, Dr David King, said: "The discovery of the structure of
DNA has led to a revolution in the way we think about human life and
about our relationship to nature.It has brought some medical
benefits but also GM food, genetic discrimination and the
possibility of 'designer babies'.We need less hype about the
wonders of DNA and more serious attention to the social and ethical
issues raised by genetics."
King and the speakers are available for interview by contacting HGA:
1.Human Genetics Alert is an independent
watchdog group funded by leading charities.
The event will be at G2 Assembly Hall, School of Oriental and
African Studies, Thornhaugh St., Russell Square, London WC1 at 7.30
pm on April 9th.
The speakers are: Dr Ian Gibson
MP, Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology
Committee, Professor Hilary
Rose, Co-author of Alas, Poor Darwin: Arguments Against
Evolutionary Psychology and Dr Richard Nicholson, Editor of
The Bulletin of Medical