Squandering the lessons of Asilomar, Alexander Capron
Interviewee: Alexander Capron. Concerned lawyer Alexander Capron talks about what was learned at Asilomar. (DNAi Location: Manipulation > Revolution > Putting it together > Squandering the lessons of Asilomar)
Well I think we squandered some of the lessons of Asilomar. One of the lessons is that if we had some kind of a scientific early warning system where people were able to look at their own field and say potentially this has some issues, some problems that will concern a larger society, and we're going to meet about them, be publicly accountable about them, be willing to say some things will be foregone or put off for a while until problems are, are addressed, I think we wouldn't have some of the issues that we have troubling us today.
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Alexander Capron, a lawyer and specialist in bioethics, talks about how fear of Frankenstein captured the public fancy.
Alexander Capron talks about a limit to freedom of inquiry.
James Watson recollects his feelings about the Asilomar meeting.
Former New York Times science journalist Victor McElheny talks about why he thought the "Moratorium Letter" was asking for trouble.
More than 25 years after the historic meeting, James Watson looks back.
Former New York Times journalist Victor McElheny remembers the fears of young scientists.
Synthesizing human insulin using recombinant DNA, 3D animation with no audio
Former science journalist Victor McElheny talks about the impossible task of reconciling science and society in a week.
Asilomar meeting. February 1975. (L to R) Maxine Singer, Norton Zinder, Sydney Brenner, Paul Berg.
"Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA Molecules" published in Science on June 6, 1975.