What policies will ultimately be needed? What do we focus on in the near and middle term? What challenges and opportunities do we face?
New and powerful human biotechnologies are being developed and promoted at a rapid rate. Oversight and regulatory policies that would allow consideration of the full social implications of these technologies prior to their development and use are either typically nonexistent or woefully inadequate. Conflicts of interest pervade the biomedical research community, with scientists increasingly working at the behest of private corporations and serving as principals in commercial enterprises. So what is to be done? What policies will ultimately be needed, at both domestic and international levels, to ensure that the common good is served rather than undermined? What particular issues are both important in themselves and strategically useful to focus on in the near and middle terms? What initiatives might be undertaken now to address these issues, including educational, legislative, legal, constituency outreach or other initiatives?
Framing presentations by four colleagues (8 minutes each) were followed by extended breakout discussion meetings at which the key questions raised were considered in detail.
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