PARENTS

Professor Robert Winston Warns Of Using Science To 'Make' Attractive, Intelligent Children

14/08/2014 16:48 | Updated 22 May 2015
Robert Winston warns against  modifying genes to make attractive, intelligent kids

The HFEA (the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) has refused to comment on remarks made by Professor Lord Robert Winston on the dangers of exploiting genetic technologies to produce more intelligent, stronger and attractive offspring.

The Scotsman reports that Professor Winston will address the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh this week and warn that 'current controls will not be able to keep pace with advances in reproductive technologies'.

The professor will deliver his talk on Wednesday as part of a lecture series called Sex in Three Cities, organised by the Society for Reproduction and Fertility (SRF).

He told The Scotsman that reproductive processes have been manipulated in different ways throughout history, and that he is going to argue that issues are more serious now because of the 'commercialisation of reproductive medicine'.

"We should be on our guard against it," he said. "Now we have technology where we can modify the genomics of individuals by gene transfer and genetic meddling. We may find that people will want to modify their children, enhance their intelligence, their strength and their beauty and all the other so-called desirable characteristics."

"That will be a form of eugenics which will actually have all sorts of serious implications for developed societies," he said, adding that scientists have already successfully modified the genetic make-up of mice and put in place certain genes that would not naturally produce.

"Should we be trying to enhance humans rather than trying to educate them and so on?" he asked.

"There are various dangers of this, some of which are practical dangers to the actual child you produce. In future it is almost certainly true we will be able to make these modifications to humans, possibly in the very near future. This is something that our society needs to discuss and debate and consider."

Suggest a correction