Workshop on application scenarios of new self-propagating genetic technologies 14-15 November 2019:

In the course of the project to investigate the conflict potential of new self-propagating genetic technologies (GD-conflict) four plausible scenarios have been developed. Three of these scenarios are based on the currently most advanced Gene Drive projects. Another scenario is dedicated to the potential of Horizontal Environmental Genetic Alteration Agents (HEGAA) technology for biological warfare. At the workshop at our project partners at the Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker Center for Natural Sciences and Peace Research at the University of Hamburg (ZNF), these scenarios were presented to a panel of experts from the fields of evolutionary biology, ecology, international law, risk assessment and GMO regulation. The experts critically assessed the plausibility of the scenarios and gave advice for improvement.

On the second day of the workshop, two selected Gene Drive scenarios were revised in break-out groups and then presented and critically discussed. The conception of such future scenarios serves to point out possible conflict potentials in legal, political, ethical and social terms. The findings will be published in a joint publication.