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Genome editing has the potential to revolutionise the treatment and prevention of diseases. But, this technology also raises a range of ethical, scientific and social issues. What responsibilities do scientific stakeholders have in consulting the public, and how can public opinion influence the future of genome editing research? How and when should the public be engaged? How do opinions, attitudes and experiences vary across society, and are they influenced by factors such as, country, socio-economic status and gender?

In this dilemma café, international representatives of four stakeholder groups; researchers, policymakers, patients and the general public with expertise in engagement/genome editing will propose key dilemmas that we may face as we seek to engage the public as this technology progresses. Participants will have the opportunity to explore these questions and dilemmas from the four perspectives and to contribute their own ideas and opinions.

Speakers are:

  • Mark Bale, Deputy Director, Genomics Science & Emerging Technologies, Science Research and Evidence Directorate, Department of Health & Social Care, UK Government
  • Dr Carlo Carolis, Head of the Biomolecular Screening & Protein Technologies Facility, Centre for Genomic Regulation, Spain
  • Dr Luca Franchini, Psychology and Training Unit, ANT Foundation, Italy 
  • Lee Hibbard, Bioethics Unit, Council of Europe
  • Tony Whitney, Public Engagement with Science, Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, UK Government

Moderator: Michela Bertero, Head of International and Scientific Affairs, Centre for Genomic Regulation and Coordinator of ORION Open Science

Our session will take place on 13 July at 13:30-14:45 and is open for all participants at ESOF 2018 in Toulouse. No preregistration is needed. For more information about the ESOF 2018 and how to register, please have a look at the forum website.

For more information about this session please get in contact with Emma Martinez at the Babraham Institute.

At ESOF 2018, the ORION project will also arrange a dilemma café on Does Open Science Improve Your Career Prospects? at 13.30-14:45 on 13 July, please see our calendar for more information.

About ESOF

ESOF - EuroScience Open Forum is the largest interdisciplinary science meeting in Europe where scientists, innovators, policy makers, business people and the general public discuss, debate and share knowledge. This year's theme is Sharing science: Towards New Horizons.