Public survey and call for evidence

A new biological technique could allow us to ‘edit out’ genetic disease in future generations. But what would be the implications?

Genome editing may offer benefits to people at risk of passing on some medical conditions by allowing genetic variants that are associated with inherited illness or disease risk to be ‘edited out’. The technique could also be used to target characteristics other than those associated with illness and health.

The Council would like to hear as wide a range of views as possible on ethical questions about these potential uses of genome editing and how far we, as a society, should go in altering fundamental aspects of human biology.

Public survey

The survey sets out three scenarios to that could plausibly arise in the future, each followed by a set of questions to explore the ethical considerations. It can be completed in 15 minutes or longer, depending on the amount of detail given.

Click here to start the survey or download a preview here.

The survey can also be used as a tool for anyone facilitating discussion about genome editing technologies. If you would be interested in using it for this purpose, please contact us at

Call for evidence

Alongside the public survey we are refreshing our 2016 call for evidence, which aims to gather more in-depth information from organisations and individuals with an existing interest in or knowledge about genome editing. The questions are similar to those in our 2015-2016 call for evidence on genome editing but now focussed on human reproductive uses. If you responded to the earlier call for evidence you may wish to update your response to include more up-to-date or detailed information, or simply let us know that your previous submission still stands – to do so please contact

Download the consultation document (Word)

Download the response form (Word)

The closing date for responses to the both the survey and call for evidence is 30 June, 2017.

Previous work

Contact us

Nuffield Council on Bioethics
28 Bedford Square

+44 (0)20 7681 9619

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