We as a society need to bring the discussion of human genomics out from the shadows of ignorance and into the public realm. This is a conversation beyond just the scientific community. It needs input from all facets of humanity from policy makers and business people to mothers and fathers. It is incumbent upon each of us to educate ourselves. We must come together towards a collective decision – on how to use the single most amazing superpower that humanity has ever known.
The power of the human genome comes with great responsibility. With that responsibility it is essential that any research and advancements be incremental and transparent. This both minimizes the chances of unintended consequences and helps foster acceptance of change. We must be responsible for all outcomes of our actions.
Genetic diversity is essential for the health of a species. So as in Humanity, diversity enriches and strengthens a society. It is essential that we encourage and preserve humanities differences and understand the harm in a homogeneous society.
One of humanity’s greatest values is freedom. As much as society allows, individuals should be free to alter their genome or never to do so at all. Essential to an informed choice is a full understanding of the risks and benefits.
To preserve nature’s processes, we should dedicate a quarter of the Earth to completely natural evolution: Darwin’s Quarter. This area needn’t be contiguous but should cover diverse environments across land and sea. This is essential in maintaining the natural world alongside the human world.
Acknowledgements to Juan Enriquez and Steve Gullans for inspiring these principles. Please see Juan Enriquez’s TED Talk below and their book – Evolving Ourselves.