Oct. 2, 2019

Statement on Removal of Web Page on Human Genome Editing

We recently launched a new website intended to highlight the science underlying questions that our research shows Americans have about current issues.  We are concerned that content on a page about human genome editing, including a video, left the misimpression that the use of genome editing for the “enhancement” of human traits is permissible or taken lightly.  As that was not our intent, we are deleting the page and video (we deleted related social media posts earlier).  We apologize for any concern or confusion we caused.
Our 2017 report on the science, ethics, and governance of human genome editing recommended that non-heritable (somatic) genome editing in clinical trials or therapies should be limited to treatment or prevention of disease or disability.  Like other scientific and medical organizations, we have stated that heritable (germline) genome editing should not proceed at this time.  Human genome editing requires much more research and public discussion of the ethics and governance of its potential uses.  Our work to inform this research and discussion continues.

William Kearney, Executive Director
Dana Korsen, Media Relations Manager
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail news@nas.edu