How Far Would You Go?
Public Interest Collaborative Announces First-Ever Web Series for Parents on Technologies that Could Alter Human Nature
Motherís Day launch to spark grassroots discussions about new reproductive and genetic technologies
(New Haven, CT) - Mothers for a Human Future, the Center for Genetics and Society, the Public Conversations Project, and the Jamestown Project today announced the launch of How Far Would You Go?, a first-of-its-kind campaign aimed at drawing parents' attention to technologies that could lead to irreversible alterations of the human species.
The BioConversations initiative is designed to spark a national grassroots conversation about new reproductive and genetic technologies that are changing how some people have children and the kind of children they have-and that may alter the idea of what it means to be human. It consists of five short videos that frame the complicated issues presented by these new technologies in language that everybody can understand.
"Our urgent message," said Enola Aird, director of Mothers for a Human Future, "is that parents and other caregivers must get quickly up to speed on these technologies so that we can consider what they mean for us and our children and help make decisions about their use." According to Marcy Darnovsky, Associate Director of the Center for Genetics and Society, "reproductive and genetic technologies are already touching families in ways that are often beneficial and sometimes troubling, and some of the future prospects are very disturbing. It's time to broaden the conversation about how and when to use these powerful tools."
How Far Would You Go? is being launched as the nation prepares to celebrate Mother's Day in order to underscore the implications of these new technologies for parents and caregivers. The videos will be released between the months of May and September and will provide links to other resources so that people can learn more. The collaborative's members will distribute the videos to their various networks and to other websites and video channels asking people to spark discussions and keep the conversation going. Robert Stains, Vice President of Public Conversations Project, said "better decisions come from broader engagement. It's vital to have the general public-in addition to experts-involved in constructive conversations about the scope and impact of these technologies."
Stephanie Robinson, CEO of the Jamestown Project, observed that "a healthy democracy means that everyone is engaged and participatory. Communities of color are commonly the last to know when it comes to emerging technologies that impact us directly. These discussions are far too important for all of us not to be at the table this time around. Our very humanity may depend on it."
The aim of the BioConversations collaborative is to take the biotech discussion public-to help bring parents' and caregivers' voices into a crucial conversation that has so far taken place without them. All of us need to be heard in a robust and thoughtful public conversation about technologies that are changing the course of human reproduction and the meaning of human nature.