Science, Society, and the Future of Gene Editing

August 16, 1:00 PM – August 17, 4:30 PM
University of California, Berkeley



The scientific community has handed the world an incredible tool: the ability to make precise changes to the DNA in living cells, which could allow us to eradicate diseases, transform the farming and agriculture industries, and enable massive leaps forward in environmental and life science. That is the promise of CRISPR and other technologies that allow scientists to make precise edits to genomes.

But the science behind CRISPR is just one piece of the puzzle. Now is the time to hear the voices of people whose lives could be impacted by this powerful technology: patients, doctors, farmers, consumers, nonprofit leaders, environmentalists, and other interested parties. From human and animal health to the future of the food chain, these stakeholders will play a critical role in assessing the potential of CRISPR to make the transition from the lab to the outside world.

Hosted at the University of California, Berkeley, the mission of CRISPRcon is to bring together a broad selection of diverse voices to discuss the future of this groundbreaking technology across all applications. Through keynotes, panels, interactive discussions, and networking opportunities, CRISPRcon will create a unique forum in which everyone with a stake in CRISPR can share their ideas, ask and answer questions, and make sure that their voices are heard.


This one-and-a-half-day event will explore the intersection of science, society, and the future of gene editing. The program will include keynote addresses, panel discussions, interactive audience polling, and opportunities for networking and discussion among a diverse set of voices. CRISPRcon will explore topics including:

Engaging the public in conversations about CRISPR

Social dimensions of CRISPR in medicine, food, and conservation

The role of regulation and social acceptance in determining the future of CRISPR

CRISPRcon will include the following discussions:

  • Taking the Debate from the Lab to the Living Room: Reflections from a CRISPR researcher on the social dimensions of the science
  • Envisioning 2050: Where might CRISPR take us – and do we want to go there?
  • CRISPR in the Public Eye: Societal perceptions of science
  • Genome Surgery: CRISPR cures, community perceptions, and questions of equity
  • If We Edit It, Will We Eat It?: Social acceptance of CRISPR in food
  • If It’s CRISPR, Is It Wild?: Considerations for CRISPR in conservation
  • Whether and How: Who determines the future of CRISPR?
  • Where to From Here?: Final reflections from CRISPR thought leaders

Please check back soon for a full schedule.

Confirmed Speakers

Sarah Alexander, Keystone Policy Center

Roxi Beck, Center for Food Integrity

Shakir Cannon, Minority Coalition for Precision Medicine

Bruce Conklin, UC San Francisco

James Corbett, Centura Health

Andrea Crisanti, Imperial College London

Marcy Darnovsky, Center for Genetics and Society

Jennifer Doudna, UC Berkeley

Carla Easter, National Institutes of Health National Human Genome Research Institute

Cassie Edgar, Genus

Claudia Emerson, McMaster University

Sarah Davidson Evanega, Cornell University

Michael Fernandez, George Washington University

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Emory University

Eri Gentry, Institute for the Future

Neal Gutterson, DuPont

Donovan Guttieres, UN Major Group for Children & Youth Science-Policy Interface Platform

Gregory Jaffe, Center for Science in the Public Interest

Nathanael Johnson, Grist

Jennifer Kahn, Journalist

Jennifer Kuzma, North Carolina State University

Rick Loverd, National Academies of Science

Michael McBride, PICO National Network

Aroha Te Pareake Mead, Independent Maori Researcher

Lorez Meinhold, Keystone Policy Center

Ted Nordhaus, The Breakthrough Institute

Osagie Obasogie, UC Berkeley

Dana Perls, Friends of the Earth

Ryan Phelan, Revive and Restore

Larisa Rudenko, Visiting Scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Paul Shapiro, Humane Society of the United States

Michael Specter, The New Yorker

Simon Stuart, Synchronicity Earth

Jim Thomas, ETC Group

Thomas Titus, Tri Pork Inc.

Mark Walters, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland

Tom Willey, T & D Willey Farms

Ting Wu, Harvard Medical School


CRISPRcon is being organized by a steering committee of individuals from the scientific community, industry and academia.  Program development has been facilitated by the Keystone Policy Center.


Axel Bouchon, Bayer

Melanie Cantarutti, UC Berkeley

James Corbett, Centura Health

Jennifer Doudna, UC Berkeley

Cassie Edgar, Genus

Sarah Evanega, Cornell Alliance for Science

Scott Fahrenkrug, Recombinetics

Michael Fernandez, GW Sustainability Collaborative

J. Keith Gilless, UC Berkeley

Neal Gutterson, DuPont Pioneer

Rachel Haurwitz, Caribou Biosciences, Inc.

Tim Hunt, Editas

Susan Jenkins, Innovative Genomics Institute

Kathleen Merrigan, George Washington University

Andrew Michael, Centura Health

Jeff Moen, Noble Research Institute, LLC

Tammy Lee Stanoch, Recombinetics

Ting Wu, Personal Genetics Education Project (pgEd) & Harvard Medical School


Sponsorship opportunities are still available. If interested, please contact us.


For more information about CRISPRcon or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please contact us: