The development of new gene editing techniques, such as CRISPR-Cas9, has started a revolution in biological and medical research. They provide opportunities to make precise and targeted changes in the genome of all kinds of organisms, from microorganisms to humans. In plant breeding, there is hope for development of new crops better adapted to climate change.
In medicine, these techniques are expected to provide new opportunities for diagnosing and treating serious disorders, but they can also create heritable changes in the human genome. Thus, the development of gene editing technologies raise many ethical, social and legal concerns. How these techniques should be used and regulated is ultimately an issue for the entire society to decide and requires a broad and inclusive debate, where different voices are heard.
The CRISPRideas Theme intends to follow and analyze this societal debate, how it has historically evolved and what factors have influenced the various approaches and attitudes. Given the opportunities and risks of new gene editing technologies, we will use comparative analyzes of the debate, especially in the Nordic countries, but also globally. We will investigate how scientific knowledge, values and norms have impacted the understanding and views of experts, the general public and various stakeholders.