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BIO208 Doing CRISPR & Norwegian salmon farming: What's in in for Society?

BIO208 GMO salmon

Dorothy Dankel

on 26 April 2018

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Transcript of BIO208 Doing CRISPR & Norwegian salmon farming: What's in in for Society?

"Doing CRISPR": The novel case of Atlantic salmon, science & the Norwegian aquaculture industry
Researcher, University of Bergen
Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities
Department of Biology
Board Member, Nordic Marine Think Tank www.nmtt.org
Dorothy J. Dankel, PhD
Österblom et al.
(PLoSONE, 2014)
"Transnational Corporations as ‘Keystone Actors’ in Marine Ecosystems"
Gibbons (Nature, 1999) "Science's new social contract with society"
Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI)
How does a science–industry partnership "do CRISPR"? What are potential social ramifications for "doing CRISPR"?
Techno-moral imaginaries & vignettes
a narrative (i.e. an imagined story) about the application of a technology and the wider impacts and implications it could have on societies and individuals.
Hard Impacts
observable and quantifiable
"How many less hybrid salmon would result?"
Soft Impacts
observable, but non-quantifiable
"How would it change our lives?"
Impacts of a sterility vaccine
# of escapees
measurement of introgression should be very low!
impact on the genetic strain of the vaccinated fish
have little idea of how the vaccinated sterile salmon will react to a homing instinct
increased knowledge of salmon behavior/ecology, etc.
production gain due to less maturity
fish welfare (more fish survive?)
a way to protect AquaGen brood stock genetics
delay the transition to vegetarian/vegan world
happy consumers, who think that the salmon are happier/healthier
happy consmers who think they are saving wild salmon
reduction in the societal conflict of wild and domesticated interbreeding
malicious use of biotechnology methods developed in the Salmosteile project
aquaculture industry contributes to jobs/taxes
decreased scentific integrity because of closeness to industry?
kind of science that will be funded, less basic science?
All assessments point to healthy genetic diversity in the wild salmon population. The industry is thriving and has become more efficient with the utlimate standards of animal welfare.

Norwegian scientific and industrial knowledge is spreading to developing countries and Norway is educating students around the world about sustainable aquaculture practices.
This incredible success has led to impressive scientific publications, where complexity and sustainability are deciphered in new and innovative ways.

This success is attributed to the research investments by society and the industry towards more holistic knowledge in trustworthy communication and dialogues between science and society in diverse consortia and fora.
The year is 2036.
The entire Norwegian salmon farming industry has vanished. Coastal societies are abandoned.

Oil exploration is banned, and the mining industry has destroyed the fjord ecosystem around Førde and spread south to Hordaland. Western fjords are now so barren, they are not fit for any cultivation of marine species.
The Salmosterile vaccine has has huge unintended consequences. As a result of exposure to the Salmosterile vaccine there is an outbreak of auto-immune allergic disorders among young Norwegian adults as well as testicular cancer from two retired scientists.
AquaGen has been bought out, and moved operations to China where the land-based operations director, is imprisoned for spreading Norwegian values.
Consequentialist arguments: promises and warnings
Distributive Justice: who gets the risks & benefits?
Deontological arguments: rights & duties
the moral responsibility towards natures
the moral responsibility of advancing science

20-year UTOPIA
20-year DYSTOPIA
Marine Harvest
Gene-editing in the lab using CRISPR-Cas9
50% Industry partners
What's in it for society?
We don't know until we include them

Patterns of Argumentation
Credibility, Legitimacy, Saliency
of biotechnology in aquaculture
"They (industry partners) are interested in possibilities and new products (vaccines), but then we also need them in the industrial development part, this is what the Research Council (of Norway) wants." – Scientist A, Salmosterile project, November 2015
gene-editing (CRISPR) is accepted by the Research Council in science and industry partner projects
Video: science-industry collaboration in the lab (CRISPR injections)
Industry scientist
Artist & Philosopher of Science
Norwegian salmon farming industry: 5 million ton/yr export by 2040?
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
1. What are genetically modified (GM) organisms and GM foods?

"Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be defined as organisms (i.e. plants, animals or microorganisms) in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination. The technology is often called “modern biotechnology” or “gene technology”, sometimes also “recombinant DNA technology” or “genetic engineering”. It allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another, also between nonrelated species. Foods produced from or using GM organisms are often referred to as GM foods."
CRISPR: Knock-down/Knock-out
"Across species"
within an organism's own genome
Inserting a gene from 1 species into another
Full transcript