In the early 1900s, biological science played an important role in the emergence of hereditary hygiene and eugenics. Today, gene therapy and genetic tests create ethical dilemmas – for example, when we get sick, are relatives, have children or choose not to have them.
Lecturer: Professor of Zoo Physiology Tobias Wang , Department of Bioscience, University of Aarhus
"Is it a problem for the human future that all people, even those with physical and mental disabilities, have children?" Such issues played an important role in the social debate in the early 1900s. It was reinforced by new scientific acknowledgments. Not least by Darwin's and Wallace's description of how important selection has been to evolution – that is, selecting those individuals who are most successful in surviving and multiplying. But also the recognition and rediscovery of the monk and plant scientist Gregor Mendel's law of heredity. Hear about how emerging biological science came to play an important role in the emergence of hereditary hygiene and eugenics.
"Should we today embrace the enormous potential of modern genetics and apply gene editing wisely?" Hear about how today's huge advances in gene therapy and genetic testing – for example, fetal diagnostics – create important ethical dilemmas that more and more of us will become acquainted with – for example, when we get sick, when we are relatives and when we have children or opt out of having them.
The lecture is aimed at anyone with an interest in history, biotechnology, ethics, biology and modern social conditions.
Special info for colleges:
In high school, the lecture has particular relevance for the subjects biology, biotechnology, history and social studies. Thus, in A-level biology, core areas of genetics and evolution are covered, and supplementary material within, for example. bioethics, biotechnology and medicine. In history and social studies, the lecture can help to show students how knowledge of history can help to uncover and gain greater understanding of complex issues in late modern society. The lecture is also suitable as part of an interdisciplinary course in SRP.
The lecture is streamed live from the University of Aarhus and is part of the series Public lectures in Science organized by the University of Aarhus and offered in collaboration with hosts in a number of cities and the Carlsberg Foundation .
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Det Lille Røgeri
Gudenåvej 48, Voervadsbro, 8660 Skanderborg
19. November 2019