Conversations on Science, Society and the Future of Gene Editing

June 20-21, 2019
Wageningen, The Netherlands

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Conversations on Science, Society & the Future of Gene Editing

CRISPRcon creates a unique forum in which a broad selection of diverse voices come together to discuss the future of CRISPR and related gene editing technologies across a variety of applications in agriculture, health, conservation and more.

CRISPRcon is a program of Keystone Policy Center. CRISPRcon 2019 will be hosted by Wageningen University and Research.

To view information from CRISPRcon 2018 in Boston, MA, click here.

To view information from CRISPRcon 2017 in Berkeley, CA, click here.


  • Panel 1: Personal Reflections: The Promise and Perils of Gene Editing CRISPR and other gene editing technologies pose sweeping implications for our food, health and ecosystems. As we contemplate the future of gene editing, how do societal narratives and personal stories of those most affected illuminate and shape critical conversations about what is at stake in using — and not using — these technologies?

  • Keynote: A Conversation on CRISPR Science and Policy This interview with two of our CRISPRcon hosts from the University of Wageningen — an award-winning CRISPR researcher and a global thought leader on agriculture and science policy — will explore current developments in the gene editing field, the role of scientists in societal debate, and the future of gene editing education and policy in the Netherlands and beyond.

  • Panel 2: CRISPR Cures: Gene Editing in Personal and Public Health Gene editing offers the potential to treat and prevent life-threatening diseases and afflictions. But these potential CRISPR ‘cures’ also open up questions about personal choice, privacy and even ‘playing God’ with both humans and other species. How could gene editing be used for good in personal and public health — and when might it lead us astray?

  • Panel 3: The Evolution of Innovation: What Drives Societal Embrace or Rejection of Emerging Technologies? From vaccinations and automobiles to nuclear fission and the smartphone, history demonstrates that humans have complex reactions to and relationships with technology. What influences how societies view, value and engage with technological innovation? What does history teach us about the emergence of new technology and how should that shape our views on gene editing?

  • Panel 4: Growing for Good?: Gene Editing and Agriculture Gene editing could control crop pests, improve animal welfare, enhance nutrition, increase yields and more. Acceptance of any agricultural application depends on real and perceived potential solutions and problems created or perpetuated by gene editing, including those related to social, economic and environmental outcomes. What are the right expectations for gene editing in agriculture? How can we ensure societal benefit?

  • Panel 5: Double Helixes and the Circular Economy: Gene Editing and Environmental Stewardship CRISPR may have a variety of environmental applications related to biofuels, emissions reductions, agriculture production efficiency and more, but ethical questions and uncertainties remain. Will gene editing technologies help or hurt the environment? How can risk and benefits be managed? What are their potential contributions toward sustainability goals and zero-waste ambitions associated with land, water, energy and climate?

  • Panel 6: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Globalization, Governance and Power Global governance and decision-making structures consider international norms, ethics, trade, policy and more in the context of diverse cultures and communities. Yet certain institutions have significant power, capital and influence when it comes to gene editing advancements and decisions. This panel will consider how those institutions think about their responsibility and work at a global scale across countries and cultures to shape the future of gene editing.



CRISPRcon 2019-Netherlands is being hosted by Wageningen University and Research. Programming will take place in Orion Building 103, Bronland 1, 6708 WH Wageningen, Netherlands.

Arriving by air:
The town of Wageningen is located approximately 90km from Amsterdam’s major international airport, Schiphol (AMS). Directions on reaching the Wageningen University campus from Schiphol Airport can be found at

Arriving by car or public transport:
The nearest train station is Ede-Wageningen, which connects to two bus lines offering stops on the Wageningen campus. For detailed instructions on arriving by bus or car, please visit


Lodging is limited in Wageningen; we recommend making your hotel or bed & breakfast reservations as soon as possible to ensure availability.

Recommended hotels with current vacancies are:

Wageningen International Congress Centre (3-star hotel)
Lawickse Allee 9
6701 AN Wageningen
This hotel is located approximately 4km from Wageningen University and Research. To make a reservation or learn more, visit Booking code: CRISPRcon

Hotel ‘t Paviljoen (4-star hotel)
Grebbeweg 103-105
3911 AV Rhenen
This hotel is located approximately 8km from Wageningen University and Research. To make a reservation or learn more, visit  Mention CRISPRcon when booking

ReeHorst (4-star hotel)
Bennekomseweg 24
This hotel is located approximately 5km from Wageningen University and Research. To make a reservation or learn more, visit  Booking code: KEYSTONE


Please contact Brianna Brumbaugh, Program Coordinator, if you have questions regarding lodging or travel logistics.
Email:, Phone: 1-202-618-6664


Coming soon!

CRISPRcon welcomes sponsorship from organizations, businesses, foundations, universities, NGOs, and others interested in supporting the CRISPRcon mission to create a unique forum of diverse perspectives on gene editing across a variety of applications. Funding supports program development and direct costs associated with the event including speaker support to enable diverse participation. CRISPRcon is a nonprofit event. Irrespective of funding source, Keystone Policy Center, a 501©3 nonprofit organization, is committed to independently managing CRISPRcon’s development in service to its mission. Keystone operates under a statement of independence to serve all of its project participants and does not advocate for any specific or general uses of CRISPR or other gene-editing technologies.

To view sponsors for our past events click here for CRISPRcon 2017 and CRISPRcon 2018. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

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: