IRAS Conference to focus on CRISPR
Credit: Twitter Trends 2019/[CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

The Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS) will hold its annual conference on June 22-29 on Star Island on the topic of the emerging gene editing technique CRISPR.

Star Island is off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and has been the location for the annual conference for decades.

The conference, titled “The CRISPR Apple on the Tree of Knowledge: Bioengineering, Gene Editing and the Human Future,” will look at the technology and how it is developing and is already in use. Organizers say that scientists, theologians and religious scholars and ethicists will offer perspectives on the issues surrounding the use of CRISPR.

Ethical issues to be discussed include therapy versus enhancement; species elimination versus global epidemic, germline intervention; and the long-term effects of bioengineering and genome editing that are now within the realm of possibility due to CRISPR.

Speakers and program committee members include: Michael Ruse, Florida State University; Ted Peters, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary; Arvin Gouw, Rare Genomics Institute; and Arthur Sutherland, Loyola University Maryland.


Susan Barreto


Susan is an author with a long-time interest in religion and science. She currently edits Covalence, the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology’s online magazine. She has written articles in The Lutheran and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science newsletter. Susan is a board member for the Center for Advanced Study of Religion and Science, the supporting organization for the Zygon Center and the Zygon Journal. She also co-wrote Our Bodies Are Selves with Dr. Philip Hefner and Dr. Ann Pederson.

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