Breakthrough technologies such as CRISPR-cas9 are touted as having great promise for treating and preventing disease. But some advocates ask why we should stop there. We have the opportunity—even the duty—they say, to wrest control of human evolution from the blind, cruel forces of nature. Prof. Comfort will explore the history and motivations behind human genetic improvement, as well as what’s at stake in these debates. Taking the long view suggests that the urge to control our own evolution—and our sense of how close we are to doing so—are independent of either technology or knowledge.
Department of the History of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University