Video Five: How far would you go?

Feb 7, 2009 by

My wife always kids me about my distress at things changing that I didn’t know about. We’ll be driving down our main street and I’ll say, “Hey! They painted the church yellow! I didn’t know they were going to paint the church!” I like to know what’s going on. It gets more serious when I’ve learned that my yard has been sprayed from airplanes with pesticides while we slept. I wasn’t asked whether I wanted my kids to breathe airborne pesticide. Someone else made that decision without my input.

And so it will be with the fast-developing field of genetic engineering if citizens from all walks of life don’t make their voices heard. While conversations about ethics and risks happen at some “higher” levels” -scientists, academics, theologians, etc.- rarely is the general public invited to weigh in on the costs, benefits and policies that might guide the industry. We hope to change that situation

BioConversations was created to give “the rest of us” the opportunity to engage. The Public Conversations Project has joined our BioConversations partners because we are committed to creating spaces for people to share and understand multiple perspectives on potentially divisive issues. Our hope is that this initial, web-based effort will grow and encourage people across ideological, religious, and political spectrums to contribute to a dialogue which might influence the direction of researchers, practitioners and policy-makers.

This is the last of five mini-videos designed to spark a grassroots conversation about the implications of new genetic technologies. Please help us spread the word and get others into the conversation by sharing this link–and talking about the issues raised in these videos–with your family and friends.

Robert R. Stains, Jr.
Senior Vice President
Public Conversations Project


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