Cover: Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing, from Harvard University PressCover: Altered Inheritance in HARDCOVER

Altered Inheritance

CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing

Product Details


$24.95 • £21.95 • €22.95

ISBN 9780674976719

Publication Date: 09/17/2019


304 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

11 illus.


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An authoritative, comprehensive guide to the ethical issues around CRISPR, and her central message is clear: heritable human genome editing shouldn’t be treated as inevitable, and the decision to undertake it should be a collective one. She takes to task scientists who believe they need not answer for the societal consequences of their research and argues that we should adopt heritable genome editing only if it results in a more just and equitable world.—Natalie de Souza, New York Review of Books

A vivid call to action… Timely and important… Commitments to justice, responsibility, accountability, and consensus-building are features of a socially just science and bioethics. Toward this end, Altered Inheritance is a foundational tool in the path ahead.—Adam Hayden, Science

Exceptionally clear, insightful and well-argued… Baylis emphasizes that the science of genome editing cannot be separated from the social context in which it occurs… A timely and valuable book that enjoins us to seriously consider how CRISPR or other forms of genetic alteration could affect people who exist now and people who will exist in the years to come.—Walter Glannon, Bioethics

Baylis argues that everyone must have a role in determining our future as a species. Scientists who develop and use genome-editing tools shouldn’t be the only ones deciding on future uses of the technology.—Allison Lawlor, The Chronicle Herald [Halifax, NS, Canada]

Baylis, a Canadian philosopher and bioethicist, provides some helpful description of the science behind gene editing but focuses primarily on the moral and public-policy issues it provokes. She aims to write an accessible book that will educate the public on this new technology and empower them to participate in coming debates about how to regulate it.—David VanDrunen, Ordained Servant

Lays out the critical stakes with regard to editing the human genome with clarity, challenging several conventional approaches to the issue.—Gina Maranto, Biopolitical Times

An effort to demystify the science and ethics of this world-changing technology.—Kat Eschner, University Affairs

Insightful and forward-leaning. Françoise Baylis offers a wonderful framework to help us think about and act on bridging the divides between theory, science, politics, and practice. Her book Altered Inheritance will guide us toward more meaningful, sustainable solutions.—Margaret Hamburg, Chair of the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and 21st Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Altered Inheritance is a call to action. Fair, balanced, and enjoyably readable, this book provides us with insights into the greatest technical and social challenges of our day and their ethical impact on future generations.—George Church, coauthor of Regenesis

Altered Inheritance argues that the use of gene-editing technology should require significant input from the broad public. This book is extremely timely, addresses a high interest and important topic, and comes from an influential voice in the gene-editing debate.—Josephine Johnston, The Hastings Center

Informative and thoughtful, Altered Inheritance casts the ethically perplexing questions raised by genome editing in a clear new light. Françoise Baylis asks us to slow down and rediscover our collective moral agency instead of feeling overtaken by the momentum of science and technology.—Peter Mills, Nuffield Council on Bioethics

Incisive and insightful, Altered Inheritance wrenches open the laboratory doors behind which science and technology struggle to set a new course for society, for humanity, and for those who are most vulnerable for extinction.—Donna R. Walton, Founder and President, The Divas With Disabilities Project

Françoise Baylis is a fearless philosopher whose courage is matched by her talent. In this wise, lucid book, she asks exactly the right questions. What kind of world do we want to live in and how likely is gene editing to take us there?—Carl Elliott, author of White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine

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