"Making better babies, pro and con" - a debate including Prof Julian Savulescu

Past Event

02 October 2012, 7:00pm - 8:30pm


This debate is hosted by Monash University, Melbourne

Summary: Revolutionary developments in genetic science and biotechnology may provide new ways of treating and preventing disease. Most people think this is a good thing. Genetic science and biotechnology might also be used for human enhancement—to make people “better than well”.

In the context of in vitro fertilisation (IVF), genetic testing already allows parents to screen against embryos with severe genetic diseases. Genetic testing, however, might also enable identification of embryos with genes associated with positively desired characteristics. It might thereby become possible to create especially tall, smart, and/or beautiful people. But would this be ethical—and should it be permitted? Two world leading bioethics experts defend rival perspectives on designer babies in a public debate.


  • Professor Julian Savulescu, Director, Institute for Science and Ethics, Oxford Martin School and Sir Louis Matheson Distinguished Visiting Professor, Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University
  • Associate Professor Robert Sparrow, Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Philosophy, Monash University

Venue: BMW Edge, Federation Square, Flinders Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia