Conference: Genetics and Justice

Past Event

02 July 2007, 1:00am

Manor Road Building
University of Oxford, Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ

The Centre for the Study of Social Justice, along with the Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford’s Programme on Ethics and New Biosciences & the Future of Humanity Institute, and the Wellcome Trust, hosted a two-day conference entitled ’Genetics and Justice’.

Conference information

The genetic revolution compels us to re-consider the moral landscape in diverse ways- the chance/choice distinction, the limits and scope of reproductive freedom, the duty to prevent harm, who we define as the 'least advantaged', etc. Of course these dilemmas are not all unique to genetics. But what is novel and interesting is how the issue of genetics, and genetic intervention in particular, brings these various concerns together in a vivid fashion.

It is imperative that normative theories keep pace with these scientific advances, that our normative theories evolve in the appropriate fashion as the moral landscape shifts in various ways. This Conference aims to address a wide range of concerns which the genetic revolution has thrust upon us. In order to tackle the moral, legal and social challenges of the genetic revolution there must be interdisciplinary dialogue and exchange so that moral ideals (e.g. inclusion, fairness, liberty) are framed and addressed in ways that give due attention to the diversity of stakes involved in the policies which we implement to mitigate disadvantage, regulate procreative liberty, etc.

The participants of the conference came from a diverse range of disciplines- including politics, philosophy, medicine and sociology.