Gene Editing and the War Against Malaria

Tue February 20th 2024, 4:00 - 5:30pm
Event Sponsor
McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society
Humanities Center
424 Santa Teresa Street, Stanford, CA 94305
Board Room
Experience Type

The Facing the Anthropocene: Interdisciplinary Approaches workshop presents:

"Gene Editing and the War Against Malaria"

Elliott Sober (Wisconsin-Madison)

February 20th, 2024 | 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (PST)

Boardroom, Stanford Humanities Center (424 Santa Teresa St, Stanford, CA 94305)

RSVP here

Abstract: CRISPR gene drive is a new technology, but it mimics a natural process that has been known since the 1950’s. The genes in an organism sometimes subvert the ability of other genes in the same organism to produce gametes. Such genes are said to induce “segregation distortion” or “meiotic drive.” After explaining this evolutionary idea, I’ll describe how CRISPR gene drives work. Mosquitoes spread malaria to human beings. Rather than seeking to eradicate these mosquitoes, CRISPR gene drives are designed to modify the genes in mosquitoes so that they no longer spread the disease. I’ll describe some of the advantages of modification over eradication. [For background, see this paper, co-authored by Prof. Sober and Ethan Bier]

Bio: Elliot Sober is the William F. Vilas Research Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently visiting the Department of Philosophy at Stanford. His work in philosophy of science and, specifically, philosophy of biology includes topics like evolutionary theory, scientific evidence and probability, intelligent design, and human psychology. His forthcoming book, The Philosophy of Evolutionary Theory (Cambridge University Press), analyses concepts, arguments, and methods of inference in evolutionary biology that raise important philosophical questions. Prof. Sober has served as the president of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association, the Philosophy of Science Association, and the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science.

This Workshop is sponsored by the Stanford Humanities Center and made possible by support from an anonymous donor, former Fellows, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society.

If you have any questions, you can contact the Graduate Student Co-Chair at cvm89 [at] (cvm89[at]stanford[dot]edu).