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Taking responsibility, making irresponsibility: Controversies in human gene editing

Abstract : In current discussions, human germline editing is often called ‘irresponsible’. Looking at the international summits on human gene editing held in 2015 and in 2018 and the announcement by He Jiankui of the birth of two gene-edited babies in November 2018, this article analyses how ‘irresponsible’ research was the result of various (dis)qualifications and demarcations. Against a background of discussions of responsibility, an individual scientist was singled out, his experiments were scrutinized for their soundness, legality and safety and ethical and moral stances were questioned. These are features of a process that I call ‘irresponsibilization’. This irresponsibilization of research is entangled with calls for further action: Irresponsible research like that of He Jiankui should be contained, the veracity of knowledge claims needs to be confirmed, and institutions and decision-makers are called to act. The controversy turned ‘irresponsible’ into an active category, and rendered explicit its political, institutional and practical ramifications.
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Contributeur : Morgan Meyer Connectez-vous pour contacter le contributeur
Soumis le : mercredi 16 novembre 2022 - 22:17:22
Dernière modification le : jeudi 17 novembre 2022 - 03:57:51




Morgan Meyer. Taking responsibility, making irresponsibility: Controversies in human gene editing. Social Studies of Science, 2022, 52 (1), pp.127-143. ⟨10.1177/03063127211025631⟩. ⟨hal-03856738⟩



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