UNESCO Chair in Bioethics


  • Bioethics and Law Observatory
  • UNESCO Chair in Bioethics
  • University of Barcelona
  • Faculty of Law
  • Ave. Diagonal, 684
  • 08034 Barcelona
  • (+34) 93 403 45 46
  • obd.ub@ub.edu
  • Master in Bioethics and Law
  • (+34) 93 403 45 46
  • master.bd@ub.edu


"Germline genome modification through novel political, ethical, and social lenses"

PLOS Genetics

Much has been written about gene modifying technologies (GMTs), with a particularly strong focus on human germline genome editing (HGGE) sparked by its unprecedented clinical research application in 2018, shocking the scientific community. This paper applies political, ethical, and social lenses to aspects of HGGE to uncover previously underexplored considerations that are important to reflect on in global discussions. By exploring 4 areas—(1) just distribution of HGGE benefits through a realist lens; (2) HGGE through a national interest lens; (3) “broad societal consensus” through a structural injustice lens; and (4) HGGE through a scientific trustworthiness lens—a broader perspective is offered, which ultimately aims to enrich further debates and inform well-considered solutions for developments in this field. The application of these lenses also brings to light the fact that all discussions about scientific developments involve a conscious or unconscious application of a lens that shapes the direction of our thinking.