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GE Babies: Eugenics or Utopia?

20 August 2004

GE Babies: Eugenics or Utopia?

The emergence of ‘designer’ babies and how this phenomenon will affect future society will be debated by a high-profile panel of speakers, including Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, at Victoria University’s Pipitea Campus on Tuesday, 24 August.

GE Babies: Eugenics or Utopia will be chaired by Mike Gourley, broadcaster, educator, and disability rights activist. He will lead a panel of guest speakers who will discuss whether parents should be morally obliged to use new radical technologies to prevent various genetic impairments. They will also explore whether ‘designer’ babies reflect deep-seated prejudices against people with impairments.

The guest speakers will be Jeanette Fitzsimons, Green Party Co-leader, Jess Hammond, moral philosopher, John Forman, Executive Director of the New Zealand Organisation for Rare Disorders and Paul Gibson, National Policy Advisor at CCS.

The panel discussion, presented in association with Victoria’s Disability Support Services, is the first in a new series of free talks, entitled The 6 O’clock Views, organised by Victoria’s Centre for Continuing Education Te Whare Pûkenga.

Programme Manager Andrea Cochrane says the talks and informal debates will focus on topical issues that matter to the people of Wellington.

“We want to create a vibrant and stimulating forum for public discussion and debate in Wellington at Victoria’s downtown campus. The expanded campus - Rutherford House, Government Buildings and the Railway Station – is ideally situated in Wellington’s political, business, legal and transport hubs, and the University aims to make it accessible to the wide variety of people who live, work and pass nearby.”

GE Babies: Eugenics or Utopia takes place on Tuesday 24 August in Lecture Theatre 1, Ground floor, Rutherford House, 23 Lambton Quay, from 6pm – 7.30pm. Bar facilities will be available from 5.30pm onwards.


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