A draft agenda is now publicly available for the upcoming National Academy of Sciences (NAS) meeting on human gene editing. We now know a lot more about what to expect from this international gathering, which is called the International Summit on Human Gene Editing: A Global Discussion.
The meeting will start on day 1 with context from David Baltimore as well as other scientists from around the world. There will be scientific background on the technology and information on applications. Social Implications will be discussed. Sprinkled throughout the first day will be opportunities for comments and questions from the floor totaling about 2 hours on this day.
Day 2 looks to build on the themes of the first day, but now bringing in the issues of governance and more emphasis on international perspectives.
Day 3 will be focused more squarely on societal implications and governance including the crucial issue of commercialization. These days also provide time for comments and questions from the floor.
These windows of time will include opportunities for members of the public to bring their voices into the discussion. I asked a NAS spokesperson about the role of the public in the meeting and received this reply:
“The organizing committee and staff and leadership of the academies have been identifying experts/stakeholders/interested parties from a range of disciplines and perspectives to invite to attend and participate in the summit. In addition, a general public registration will open next week, it will be open to anyone although seating is limited and dozens of people have already expressed interest in attending. And yes, public may participate in breakout sessions, and will have an opportunity to speak in public comment sessions as appropriate.”
There will also be other opportunities for involvement according to the spokesperson:
“Also, the video webcast will allow many people to view the proceedings and we expect a lively conversation on social media including at #GeneEditSummit”
Since I will be at the meeting and blogging it live here, I hope that this site will in addition provide a forum for discussion involving a diverse group and boost democratic deliberation on this important topic.