In the year 2000, it took over a year and more than a million dollars to completely decode a human DNA sequence. Today, it takes less than a 1000 dollars and only 24 hours to sequence an entire human genome. This rapid optimization of biomedical technology will in all probability lead to the establishment of sequencing as a common medical practice, particularly within the areas of prevention and reproduction. Our premise is that the widespread use of this technology for deciphering genetic information will effectively alter our notions of subjectivity. Drawing on a dialogue between young academics and experts, the Genetic Transparency project’s aim is to investigate the ethical, social, legal and political implications of this development. On the basis of current biological and medical research, the manifold aspects of a genetically transparent human being will be explored. Is the technological development out of proportion with the knowledge it yields as well as with the changing notion of humankind?
- What consequences of the current biotechnological development are to be expected on a political and societal level – for instance in regard to the health system?
- In case of actual treatment, how can our decisions in favor of, or against, sequencing be justified?
- What kind of regulation concerning genome sequencing is justifiable, desirable and implementable?
- What role does interpretation play when reading biological data?
- What is the logic inherent in the metaphor of the “genetically transparent human”?
We want to addressed these and related questions during a conference week. Currently the the publication of a book is planed which in future may serve as the theoretical frame of upcoming projects. At this point we want to provide you with information on upcoming events, the results of our conference and the authors of the book.