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About Civil Society & Human Biotechnology


"Civil society" refers to institutional political actors outside of government and private enterprise, typically nonprofit advocacy organizations and foundations. The term "non-governmental organization," or NGO, is closely related.

Civil society organizations have come to play an important role in ensuring the accountability of governments, countering the power of corporations, and contributing to democratic governance.

For most of today’s important issues – war and peace, economic growth and equity, ecological sustainability, race and gender equality, and many others – there are dense networks of civil society institutions. For the issues surrounding human biotechnologies, a civil society infrastructure is just beginning to emerge. 



Nepal Bans Surrogate Births — Worry for Gay Israelis by JTAThe ForwardAugust 27th, 2015Nepal’s Supreme Court issued an injunction to stop surrogate pregnancies — joining Thailand and India — blocking future foreign intended parents seeking surrogates.
Court: $50M verdict in Seattle-area ‘wrongful birth’ doesn't shock the conscienceby Levi PulkkinenSeattlePIAugust 26th, 2015Washington three-judge panel affirms multi-million jury award to couple who sued their fertility clinic for failing to effectively screen for their new child's chromosomal abnormality.
Biohackers Gear Up for Genome Editingby Heidi LedfordNature NewsAugust 26th, 2015DIY labs and synthetic biology "amateurs" are working with cheap and easy-to-use CRISPR gene-editing technology to create novel GM organisms, causing concerns about regulation and safety.
Alphabet/Google Isn’t Evil but Genetically Modifying Mosquitos Might Beby Mic WrightThe Next WebAugust 25th, 2015Recent biotech hype about using gene drive to reduce global malaria is best understood as a new chapter in humanity's historically poor record of forcibly changing ecosystems.
The Colonial Origins of Conservation: The Disturbing History Behind US National Parksby Stephen CorryTruthoutAugust 25th, 2015Environmental conservation that excludes tribal peoples has deep connections with historical eugenics.
[Video] Is It Worth Your Time and Money to Freeze Your Eggs?by StaffBroadly [VICE]August 24th, 2015Broadly investigates the commercial promises of Egg Banxx "freezing parties" while following a patient through the process of egg retrieval, featuring Marcy Darnovksy.
How Beliefs in Biological Differences Can Undergird Racial and Policy Attitudesby Carson ByrdUSAPPAugust 24th, 2015New study shows how racialized perceptions of the influence of genes and the environment on individuals can affect public support for policies aimed at mitigating racial inequality.
Rise of The Citizen ScientistNature CommentaryAugust 18th, 2015From the oceans to the soil, technology is changing the part that amateurs can play in research. But this greater involvement raises concerns that must be addressed.
A BC Alum's New Site Links LGBT Couples With Egg Donors, Sperm Donors & Surrogatesby Rebecca StrongBostInnoJuly 13th, 2015Bird Meets Bee, an ART matchmaker website launching in October, would feature customizable user profiles and filter criteria such as "LGBT status, heritage, hair color, eye color, or height."
Eliminating Intersex Babies Is not a Legitimate Use of Genetic Embryo Testingby Celeste OrrThe GuardianJuly 11th, 2015Using preimplantation genetic diagnosis to select against embryos with culturally devalued bodies, like intersex people and people with disabilities, is simply a contemporary example of eugenics.
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