“You need to engage the ethical question all along the way”: A Q&A with Paul Root Wolpe
Yesterday, TED posted a jaw-dropping talk from Paul Root Wolpe that rounds up new bio-engineering experiments, most involving animals, that push our current ethical systems to their limits. From bioengineered glow-in-the-dark pets to supersized salmon, from ratbots to the mouse that grows a human ear — Wolpe asks us to think deeply about what bioengineered animals mean. The TED Blog talked with Wolpe yesterday and asked a couple of followup questions on how we might frame these brave new ethical dilemmas.
Can you build a little on your closing statement: How would you frame a response to the ethical questions raised by this new bio-technology? Where do we start?
It’s one of the things that ethicists do. People in this field have been talking about the question of how you create ethical standards around biotech for a very long time. It’s a well-developed field, and though there are disagreements, there are also really strong agreements about harms and how you determine harms, risk and how you determine risk. The first and most important part is actually framing the ethical question. What is really the question we’re asking here?
2 years ago