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Doing CRISPR & Norwegian salmon farming: What's in in for Society?
Transcript of Doing CRISPR & Norwegian salmon farming: What's in in for Society?
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.
"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.
observable and quantifiable
"How many less hybrid salmon would result?"
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
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)
Artist & Philosopher of Science
Norwegian salmon farming industry: 5 million ton/yr export by 2040?