The Human Rights Challenge of Genetic Engineering

What would the impact be on human rights if the genetic variants associated with IQ are discovered?

That is the question Dr. Benjamin Gregg will be discussing when he visits the Raoul Wallenberg Institute on 6 April.

In a public lecture in co-operation with the Department of Biology at Lund University. The lecture is supported by the Fulbright Scholar Program.

benjamingreggDr. Benjamin Gregg is a professor of social and political theory at the University of Texas. He is the Fulbright Visiting Professor at Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria. His current research focus is human rights and genomic manipulation.

Gregg says rapid developments in genetics and associated technology raise difficult social, moral, economic and political questions about what should be allowed and what might best be prohibited.

“I approach this issue in terms of one particular example of great and enduring significance to individuals, groups, whole societies, and the world community,” he says. “If the genetic variants associated with different levels of IQ are discovered, what kind of human rights thinking might be deployed to answer such questions as: On the basis of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, should parents be allowed to select the embryo with variants associated even with a very slightly higher IQ and discard an embryo with an average IQ? Should we distinguish between raising, to average, the IQ of a baby (by manipulating the embryo) with an IQ significantly below average, and raising a normal IQ to a level much above average?”

As a political theorist Gregg develops a normative framework in terms of which questions can be evaluated and addressed from a human rights standpoint.

Time: Wednesday 6 April at 16:30-17:30

Location: Beijing conference room, Raoul Wallenberg Institute, Stora Gråbrödersgatan 17

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