Convocation with Françoise Baylis | Altered Inheritance: The Era of Designer Babies

8 April 2024

Fri, April 5, 2024 • 10:50am – 11:50am (1h) • Skinner Memorial Chapel

Françoise Baylis CM, ONS, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS, FISC is Distinguished Research Professor  Emerita, Dalhousie University, Canada. She is a philosopher whose innovative work in bioethics, at  the intersection of policy and practice, has stretched the boundaries of the field. Her work  challenges us to think broadly and deeply about the direction of health, science and biotechnology.  It aims to move the limits of mainstream bioethics and develop more effective ways to understand  and tackle public policy challenges. 

Baylis is the author of Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing.  Her book won the 2020 PROSE Award in Clinical Medicine. Natalie de Souza writes in The New  York Review of Books “She offers an authoritative, comprehensive guide to the ethical issues  around CRISPR, and her central message is clear: heritable human genome editing shouldn’t be  treated as inevitable, and the decision to undertake it should be a collective one.” Adam Hayden  writes in Science “Commitments to justice, responsibility, accountability, and consensus building are  features of a socially just science and bioethics. Toward this end, Altered Inheritance is a  foundational tool in the path ahead.” 

Baylis was a member of the Planning Committee for the First and Third International Summit on  Gene Editing (2015 and 2023), a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Committee on Developing  Global Standards for Governance and Oversight of Human Genome Editing (2019-2021), and a  member of WHO Working Groups on a Global Guidance Framework for the Responsible Use of  the Life Sciences (2021). She is a member of the Governing Board of the International Science  Council and Vice-Chair of its Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in Science. 

Baylis is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia, as well as an elected  Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and the  International Science Council. In 2022, she was awarded the Killam Prize for the Humanities,  Canada’s most distinguished award for humanities scholars.