Genetics as revolution
2015 JBS Haldane Lecture
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The ideas of genetics are revolutionary. Today, technology is galvanising disruptive change in our understanding and ability to intervene with nature itself. What can we change, and should we
Professor Alison Woollard presents the 2015 Genetics Society JBS Haldane Lecture.
It is an everyday observation that the offspring of elephants are elephants and the offspring of humans are humans. Our biology is, quite literally, written in our DNA, and the copying and transmission of this genetic information is the most extraordinary process on earth.
The ideas of genetics are revolutionary, from Mendel’s perfect 19th century description of the mechanism of heredity, through the molecular revolutions of the 20th century to the present day. Today, new technologies are galvanising disruptive change, not only in our understanding of biology, but in our ability to intervene in the very nature of life itself. What can we change? How? Why? And indeed, should we meddle at all?
“The bravest”, said Thucydides, “Are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it”. See if you agree.
Find out more about the JBS Haldane Lectures on the Genetics Society website.
Alison Woollard is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford where she is also a Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford. She gave the 2013 CHRISTMAS LECTURES, 'Life Fantastic'