Symposium Material

From 19 - 20 October 2017 we hosted together with a large number of partners an International Symposium "Editing Genomes with CRISPR: Between Scientific Breakthroughs and Societal Challenges". As you can see from the conference website this event brought together speakers from the US, Europe and from Austrian research institutions, from different disciplinary backgrounds in academia and NGOs to discuss over two days in different panel formations societal issues related to CRISPR. The aim was to foster an open dialogue between the scientific community (ranging from life scientists, to social scientists, and beyond) and civil society, discussing ongoing applications of the CRISPR technology, expected and envisioned developments, and the benefits, caveats and consequences of this technology’s applications. 

In the preparatory phase the organising committee decided that it would be very good to explore and present  three application scenarios realised through CRISPR technology in order to open up the kinds of societal questions this technology might trigger. They were meant to ground our thinking in some more concrete ways and we wanted to use such scenarios as a kind of scientific/societal laboratory to reflect on different aspects of where the application of CRISPR might take us. We specifically invited young researchers from the life sciences and from science and technology studies (social sciences) to engage in a mutual debate and come up with a scenario that touches on food/agriculture, humans as well as on animals respectively. Their effort to collectively explore these issues across disciplinary boundaries is an excellent example of how debates should work.They point to possibilities and limitations of the use of CRISPR and should be seen as their personal ways to think through such issues balancing the diverse values that need consideration when reflecting on societal consequences of technological and scientific advances.

The reaction of the symposium public was very positive and we hope that these videos are useful to others wanting to think about issues related to CRISPR: The names of the young researchers involved in producing these videos are mentioned in the beginning of each video.

Before these three scenarios there is an introductory video to the CRISPR debate which was also produced in the context of this international symposium and involved the organisers of the event.

University of Vienna/Transform -
Living with CRISPR

CRISPR Scenario: Impressions and Impacts in Agriculture

CRISPR Scenarios: Impressions and Impacts in Agriculture from STS Vienna on Vimeo.

CRISPR Scenario:
Biomedical Futures

CRISPR Scenario: Biomedical Futures from STS Vienna on Vimeo.

CRISPR Scenario: Should Genetically
Modified Animals Be Released?

CRISPR Scenarios: Should Genetically Modified Animals Be Released? from STS Vienna on Vimeo.

CRISPR Scenario:
Impressions and Impacts in Agriculture