Because research into genetic technologies is a global endeavour, research, development and deployment of genetic technologies in one country can influence the research context in others. It is therefore imperative that countries work together to develop international norms, protocols and codes of conduct for genetic technologies research. Chinese researchers have been at the forefront of many emergent uses of genetic technologies, which is why the Society is collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Sciences on priorities for genetic technologies research and how the research and use of these technologies should be governed. We are also working with the US National Academy of Sciences to plan a follow up meeting to the 2015 Human Gene Editing Summit.
For the UK, exploration of the issues has the potential to be particularly timely, given the possibility of new national regulatory frameworks in the context of renegotiating the UK’s relationship with the European Union. The Society will also engage with international policymakers and scientists to identify and analyse the issues that need to be addressed to ensure societal benefits of the technologies are maximised and risks minimised.
This work builds on work the Society has already done, both in this country and internationally.