List of Speakers for NAS Meeting on Human Gene Editing

Who will be speaking at the upcoming National Academy of Sciences (NAS) meeting on human gene editing? So far we haven’t known, but now we do (if you are eager to find out, skip to bottom of the post).

The organizers of the meeting can be found here. Keep in mind that it is probable that some of these organizers, even if not listed below at the bottom of this post, will be present as well.

The meeting starts two months from today on December 1.

NAS gene editing

The summit has major importance as a global forum for discussing the many complex issues surrounding human genetic modification. As a result, the identities of the invited speakers who are attending will give a valuable sense of the spectrum of backgrounds and views that will be represented at the meeting.

A source has provided me with an organizational email to the confirmed speakers and moderators for the NAS meeting, from which I created the preliminary list below of likely participants. The caveats are (1) that this list may change and (2) I might have inferred some attendees’ names incorrectly based on a misinterpretation of email addresses. In other words, don’t hold me precisely to this list, but it should be pretty accurate.

What does this list tell us about the meeting? I’m still cogitating on it myself. What do you think?

I would note that of the 39 participants on this preliminary list, only 11 are women while 28 are men. In addition, amongst American participants there definitely seems to be an overrepresentation of people from East Coast “elite” institutions. Does that matter? More broadly does this list reflect a healthy amount of diversity?

It’s unclear at this time how many members of the public will be able to attend based on space, how those members of the public will be chosen, and how much they will be able to actively participate. The in-person presence and participation of members of the public are crucial for democratic deliberation on this pivotal issue.

I’m excited to be attending the meeting as a blogger. My goal is to provide as much information right here on this blog in as timely a manner as possible, hopefully as the meeting actually unfolds, to facilitate transparency and public understanding.

Here are the anticipated participants with title and affiliation listed in alphabetical order based on the information that I was provided:

  • Alta Charo (Professor, Univ. of Wisconsin Law)
  • Annelien Bredenoord (Professor Public Health, Univ. Med Center Utrecht)
  • Azim Surani (Professor, Gurdon Institute)
  • Barbara Evans (Professor, University of Houston Law)
  • Bill Skarnes (Senior Group Leader, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute)
  • Chad Cowan (Professor, Harvard)
  • Daniel Kevles (American historian of science, Yale)
  • Emmanuelle Charpentier (Professor, Max Planck Society)
  • Eric Lander (Professor, MIT)
  • Feng Zhang (Professor, MIT)
  • Fyodor Urnov (Team Leader, Sangamo)
  • Gary Marchant (Professor of Law, Arizona State)
  • George Church (Professor, Harvard)
  • George Daley (Professor, Harvard)
  • Indira Nath (Professor Indian National Science Academy)
  • Ismail Serageldin (Director, Bibliotheca Alexandrina)
  • Keith Joung (Professor, Harvard, Genome Editing)
  • Janet Rossant (Professor, The Hospital for Sick Children)
  • Jennifer Doudna (Professor, UC Berkeley)
  • Jennifer Merchant (Professor, Université Panthéon-Assas Paris II)
  • John Harris (Professor of Bioethics, University of Manchester)
  • Jonathan Kimmelman (Professor Bioethics, McGill)
  • Jonathan Weissman (Professor, UCSF)
  • Klaus Rajewsky (Professor, Max Delbrock Center)
  • Kyle Orwig (Associate Professor, Magee Research Institute)
  • Marco Weinberg (Assistant Professor, Scripps)
  • Marcy Darnovsky (Executive Director, Center for Genetics and Society)
  • Matthew Porteus (Associate Professor, Stanford)
  • Peter Braude (Professor, King’s College London)
  • Philip Campbell (Editor-in-Chief, Nature)
  • Richard Gold (Professor, McGill)
  • Robin Lovell-Badge (Professor, Francis Crick Institute)
  • Ruha Benjamin (Professor, Princeton)
  • Sharon Terry (Health Advocate, Genetic Alliance CEO)
  • Thomas Reiss (Head of Competence Center Emerging Tech bei Fraunhofer ISI)
  • Weizhi Ji  (Director, Kunming Institute of Zoology)
  • 周琪 Zhou Qi (Professor, Chinese Academy of Science)
  • 李劲松 Li Jinsong (Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences)
  • 石井 哲也 Tetsuya ISHII (Professor Bioethics, Hokkaido University)

4 thoughts on “List of Speakers for NAS Meeting on Human Gene Editing

  1. Thx Paul – indeed an important opportunity to address the issues. No short list will ever fully cover all but this looks to be representative enough to handle the science & bioethics. Completely equal balancing on the basis of sex is less of an issue for me compared to the point you raise about public attendance & participation. I suspect there will be sufficient opportunity for the public as this has been prominently broadcast as an integral aspect to the open & inclusive process. Mainstream media would of course help in that regard. I wonder whether there will be a recording of the event made available. Your participation as an interface to the community & beyond on social media is good news and look forward to your coverage. Cheers

  2. Hi Paul, do you know if the meeting will be open to the public? And what are the exact dates of the meeting? Thanks for all the info!

    • Hi Sam, the meeting will be Dec. 1-3. It is supposed to have some room for members of the public, but no details yet on how that’d work.

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