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Gregory Stock

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The Ethical Futurist

It’s one thing to make massive advances in genetic research and the life sciences, and entirely another to understand what these advances will mean for humankind.

The latter question, rather than just scientific advancement, constantly occupy Gregory Stock’s mind. He kickstarted the debate about the social and policy implications of modern technologies that are shaping medical science and humanity at large, from bioinformatics to molecular genetics. He’s widely accepted as a visionary, but one committed to exploring the ethical implications of genetic research as much as he is excited by its medical implications. Author of two significant books on the subject, Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future (co-authored with Houghton Mifflin) and Engineering the Human Germline: An Exploration of the Science and Ethics of Altering the Genes We Pass to Our Children, Greg is also on the editorial board of the American Journal of Bioethics and a host of thinktanks that monitor scientific research in these areas. The Storefront Genome, a symposium he convened in 2003 to debate the challenges of cheap and easy access to altering genetic compositions, was the first forum to draw attention to this highly-charged subject and took the discussion mainstream: the event, unusually for a ‘medical symposium’, got front page coverage in the New York Times, and firmly established him as a leading thinker in the field.

Of course, given that he is also a biotech entrepreneur, sits on the boards of a range of medical and public policy organisations, is a prolific author, makes frequent public and television appearances, is a keynote speakers at symposiums and conferences globally, has an MBA from Harvard and a doctorate in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University, we’re not sure he hasn’t given cloning a shot already. Hard to believe a single human being could fit all that into one life!

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