Berkeleyans Against "Techno-Eugenics"

Chris Fedeli (
Mon, 04 Oct 1999 22:31:07 -0400

This was forwarded to me from a Loka Institute mailing list. It might be of interest:

[begin quote]

I want to alert you to a nascent movement originating here in Berkeley opposed to "Techno-eugenics'" i.e. human germ-line engineering with the intent of producing super-people, which presents some very serious threats to the future of humanity, social equality and the like.. The technology is movign forward quite quiickly, with little public awareness.

List members may be interested in the new list described below.

Best,Michael H. Goldhaber wrote:

> -------------------------------------------
> Welcome to the
> Techno-Eugenics Email List
> Number 1
> September 10, 1999
> -------------------------------------------
> This is the first edition of the Techno-Eugenics Email List.
> As far as we know, it's the only list focused on the politics
> of the new human genetic and reproductive technologies.

[they don't know much, do they]

> We support biotechnology in the public interest. We oppose
> policies and biotechnologies--including human germline
> engineering and human cloning--that foster inequality,
> discrimination, objectification, and the commodification
> of human genes and tissues.


> The pace of developments has picked up considerably in the
> past several months. And glimmers of opposition are starting
> to emerge. But most Americans--including most activists and
> academics--have no idea that a small group of influential
> scientists have launched a campaign to promote germline
> engineering, human cloning, and a techno-eugenic future.


> We've begun working to change that situation: to alert the
> public about the new technologies and the techno-eugenic vision;
> to educate environmental, social justice, women's health, public
> health, and other groups; and to create organized opposition.
> TEEL will consist largely of announcements about relevant
> events (especially in California), brief updates on important
> developments, and pointers to useful information.
> For at least the next several months, TEEL will be irregular
> (a couple times a month), informal, and non-automated. We'd
> welcome feedback, and suggestions about focus and format.
> A web site will be coming soon.
> Marcy Darnovsky will moderate. Send her submissions at the
> email address below.
> This first edition is being sent to people with whom we've
> been in contact about human cloning, germline engineering,
> genetic enhancement, and related issues.
> Feel free to pass TEEL on to
> others who may be interested in becoming involved,
> encourage them to subscribe. No obligations!
> Marcy Darnovsky Rich Hayes
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> -- Briefing paper on "The Threat of the New Human Techno-
> Eugenics," by Rich Hayes. 8 pages. Available from
> -- GeneWatch, the newsletter of the Council for Responsible
> Genetics, has just published an excellent special issue
> (August 1999) on human cloning. Subscription information:
> CRG, 5 Upland Road, Suite 3, Cambridge, MA 02140. Phone:
> 617-868-0870. Individual subscriptions (6 issues) are $24.
> -- Wild Duck Review special issue on biotechnology, with
> detailed discussion of human genetic technologies. For
> information about copies, email Casey Walker, editor, at
> -- For the best recent short statement in a prestigious
> medical journal against human germline engineering, see
> "Human Germline Gene Modification: A Dissent," Paul
> Billings, Ruth Hubbard, and Stuart Newman. The Lancet
> Vol 353 Number 9167, 29 May 1999.
> -- Notes on the first two meetings of the California Cloning
> Committee, including testimony from Paul Billings of Council
> for Responsible Genetics. Available from Rich Hayes,
> -- ABC News "Nightline in Primetime" aired a special on human
> cloning on August 19, 1999. Anchor Ted Koppel and correspondent
> Robert Krulwich joined featured guest Lee Silver in endorsing
> human genetic enhancement. A 5-page summary is available from
> Marcy Darnovsky, Video copies and transcripts are
> available from ABC News (, which also has a web site
> based on the special at .
> -- A list of recent books on the new human genetic technologies
> is available from Marcy Darnovsky,
> -- Notes on the acquisition by Geron, a Menlo Park biotech
> company, of Roslin Bio-Med and the nuclear transfer technology
> used to create Dolly, the cloned sheep. 2 pages. Available
> from Marcy Darnovsky,

I'll be doing some major lurking. I promise to forward more juicy tidbits as they arrive.