June 4-5, 2018 / Boston, MA
The scientific community has handed the world an incredible tool: the ability to make precise edits to the DNA in living cells. These technologies could allow us to transform our food, health and ecological systems. They also raise important questions about risks, benefits, ethics, equity and more.
CRISPRcon: Conversations on Science, Society and the Future of Gene Editing returns June 4-5, 2018 in Boston, MA to advance broad dialogue on whether and how gene editing technologies should make the transition from the lab into society at large. Please plan to join us for a dynamic, diverse and provocative lineup of panels, keynotes, interactive discussions and networking opportunities that consider gene editing across a variety of applications, disciplines, geographies, communities and cultures.
CRISPRcon will be hosted by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. It will be held at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center in Boston. CRISPRcon is a program of Keystone Policy Center. This event is being developed in partnership with the Personal Genetics Education Project of the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School (pgEd) and the CRISPRcon Steering Committee.
To view information from CRISPRcon 2017 in Berkeley, CA, click here.
This year’s program will include a dynamic lineup of panels, keynotes, interactive breakout discussions and networking opportunities that consider gene editing across a variety of applications, disciplines, geographies, communities and cultures. Additional speakers to be confirmed soon.
Coffee and Registration
Welcome and Introductions
Lightning Presentation: Base Editing: Genome editing without double-stranded DNA cleavage
What’s at Stake? Diverse perspectives on the promise and perils of gene editing What’s at stake in society when it comes to gene editing? What are the potential benefits and perils of using – or not using – gene editing and what are the historical and current societal contexts through which we view them? This panel will explore multiple perspectives on the role of these technologies in agriculture, health, and conservation – and in achieving goals for a sustainable, equitable, and inclusive future.
Lightning Presentation: Harnessing novel CRISPR systems for human health
Keynote: Conversation with a CRISPR scientist This interview with Feng Zhang will present some of the latest developments in CRISPR science and reflect on the role of scientists in the societal debate on gene editing. Zhang is a pioneering molecular biologist who adapted multiple CRISPR systems for use as genome engineering tools, including Cas9 and Cas12 and most recently, Cas13, which targets RNA. He is a core institute member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, an investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the James and Patricia Poitras Professor in Neuroscience at MIT, and an associate professor at MIT. His team has trained thousands of researchers in the use of CRISPR genome editing technology through direct education and by sharing more than 42,000 CRISPR components with 2,300 academic laboratories in 62 countries to help accelerate global research to benefit human health.
Lightning Presentation: CRISPR-Cas9 screening for key genes regulating neuronal physiological features
Lightning Presentation: Mice Against Ticks: Community-guided research for public health
It Takes a Village: Scientists, communities, and the co-development of ecotechnologies Engagement is often promoted as an essential component of decision-making, especially for gene editing applications that can have community-wide impacts. This panel will explore case studies of how scientists are engaging with communities around the world to inform one of the most debated areas of gene editing research: ecotechnologies, including gene drives and other technologies, that could control and even eliminate entire populations of disease-carrying and invasive species.
Ideas Marketplace: Participant-led roundtable discussions
Lightning Presentation: Genome editing of the staple crop cassava to eliminate toxic cyanogen production
Of the People, By the People, For the People: Gene editing and technology democratization The relative ease and lower costs of new techniques have sparked visions of biotechnology democratization – with more people developing, collaborating on, and benefiting from gene editing applications to cure disease, meet consumer food demands, and more. But questions about intellectual property, safety, biosecurity, and governance remain. Using examples from health, agriculture, and the DIY community, this panel will explore the societal implications of technology democratization for what science and research get prioritized, who delivers it, how it is received or accepted, and who benefits.
Lightning Presentation: Personalized pig avatars for precision medicine
Lightning Presentation: Genome editing to produce virus resistant pigs
CRISPR and the ‘Culture Creators’: The role of thought leaders, trendmakers, and trust builders in societal conversations on gene editing Public views of technology are often shaped by ‘culture creators’ and thought influencers. From community organizers and religious leaders to consumer brands and traditional journalists, how are culture creators interacting with their communities and consumers? How are they influencing and responding to societal perspectives on CRISPR in food, health, and the environment? And what lessons can we draw about the issues and outreach approaches that matter most as thought leaders engage with a diverse public on topics of gene editing?
Adjourn; CRISPRcon Reception
Partner-Sponsored 'Meet a Farmer' Reception Join farmers from around the country for food and continued conversation about gene editing and agriculture.
Coffee and Light Breakfast
Optional Capacity Building Session: Expanding the CRISPRcon conversation
Keynote: Wizards and Prophets: The edge of the petri dish Noted author and journalist Charles Mann will explore how different societal views shape our ideas about science and technology. Mann wrote the newly released “The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World” as well as the acclaimed books “1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus” — which won the 2006 National Academies Communication Award — and “1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created.”
Lightning Presentation: Snap! Crackle! Pop! Rice CRISPRs for tolerance to disease and environmental stress
Lightning Presentation: CRISPR: The hope and the hype
Crossing Borders: International dynamics and influences on gene editing and society From biodiversity and biosecurity to agricultural trade and innovation in human gene editing, CRISPR raises important questions about the borders of biotechnology. This panel will explore examples of the challenges and opportunities in coordination, collaboration, and governance for gene editing across nations and cultures. It will consider similarities and differences in the international dynamics shaping gene editing in food, health, and conservation.
Lightning Presentation: Engagement, values, and the future of gene editing
Infinity and Beyond? Exploring and determining limits for gene editing How do we debate and decide upon the future of gene editing from the perspective of moral, ethical, technical, and societal ‘limits’? How do we define principles around acceptability and identify when we are comfortable with these technologies, and when it is that we go ‘too far’? What is the role of dialogue and debate, how do we make it actionable, and how can we learn from and connect the debates happening within multiple sectors?
CRISPRcon 2018 is being held at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center in Boston, MA. We recommend that those attending CRISPRcon 2018 make their travel arrangements, including reserving lodging, as soon as possible as June is a busy time in Boston.
Mark Cigan, Genus
Sarah Davidson Evanega, Cornell Alliance for Science
Jennifer Doudna, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of California Berkeley
Cassie Edgar, McKee, Voorhees & Sease PLC
Bill Even, National Pork Board
Michael Fernandez, George Washington University Sustainability Collaborative
Michael Friend, Minority Coalition for Precision Medicine
Marnie Gelbart, Personal Genetics Education Project, Harvard Medical School
Neal Gutterson, Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDupont
Rachel Haurwitz, Caribou Bioscience
Tim Hunt, Editas Medicine
Greg Jaffe, Center for Science in the Public Interest
Susan Jenkins, Innovative Genomics Institute
Lee McGuire, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Jeff Moen, Noble Research Institute, LLC
Julie Pryor, McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT
Sesquile Ramon, Biotechnology Innovation Organization
Rebecca Shaw, World Wildlife Fund
This event is being developed by Keystone Policy Center in partnership with the Personal Genetics Education Project of the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and the CRISPRcon Steering committee. Special thanks to Johnny Kung and Florcy Romero of pgED.
Sponsorship opportunities still available. For more information firstname.lastname@example.org
For press inquiries concerning CRISPRcon, media access, and other questions, please contact:
Interested in reading past coverage of CRISPRcon and the conversations it fostered?
CRISPRcon is a program of Keystone Policy Center. Keystone is a nationally recognized nonprofit working to bring diverse perspectives to bear in helping leaders, stakeholders, and communities reach common higher ground on society’s most challenging issues. Keystone manages overall development of CRISPRcon programming, planning, and fundraising. Keystone operates under a statement of independence to serve all of its project participants and does not take a position of advocacy on any specific or general use of CRISPR and other gene-editing technologies.
For more information about CRISPRcon, contact us below:CONTACT