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Breakfast Briefing on EASAC Policy Report on Genome Editing


Thursday, June 15, 2017, 09:00


Academy House, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin


Free but booking essential please RSVP to

Breakfast Briefing on EASAC Report: Genome Editing – Scientific Opportunities, Public Interests and Policy Options in the European Union.

Genome editing

Genome editing is a powerful new tool which involves the intentional modification of a targeted DNA sequence in a cell, with the significant potential for application in a wide range of areas in both human and animal health. Genome editing offers opportunities to develop gene and cell based therapies to control diseases, techniques to control vector-borne diseases and approaches to tackle, in reproduction, genetically inherited diseases. The technique can also assist with improved crop and livestock breeding, the modification of animal donors for xenotransplantation and industrial microbial biotechnology to generate biofuels, pharmaceuticals and other high value-chemicals.

The use of this technique however, is subject to significant ethical debate, with concerns particularly that genome editing is ‘not natural’, that there are too many gaps in our knowledge, that the impacts are uncertain and may be inequitable, and that regulation cannot keep pace with the speed of technological innovation. In Ireland in particular, genome editing is largely unregulated, owning to the lack of legislation governing embryo research.  

The report

In this report EASAC emphasises that policy makers must ensure that the regulation of applications is evidence-based, takes into account likely benefits as well as hypothetical risks, and is proportionate and sufficiently flexible to cope with future advances in science. This report makes recommendations regarding cross-cutting issues, including engaging with the public. The report particularly urges the policy community, as well as scientists, to continue their efforts to promote public engagement with important research advances in this area and their societal implications. The report also concludes that policy considerations should focus on sector-specific product regulation and not on the general principles and practices of genome editing as a technology.

The full report is available to download here

The briefing will be delivered by the Royal Irish Academy’s expert nominee to the EASAC Genome Editing Project Group, Professor Bert Rima, MRIA (Queen’s University Belfast)


09:00: Registration and Tea and Coffee

09:15: Welcome and Introduction

09:20: Briefing on Indicators Report by Professor Rima

10:00: Questions and Roundtable Discussion


If you are interested in attending please RSVP to

Tabhair tacaíocht do thodhchaí an léinn in Éirinn

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