Gene drive technology as human intervention into nature

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Gene drive technology as human intervention into nature
On the fate of environmental ethics in the anthropocene
Whale in the sunset

At 1 May, Keje Boersma will defend his dissertation. His dissertation is an exploration of what the concept of the anthropocene means for our ability to reflect critically on human interventions into nature, and specifically gene drive technology. I focus on 1) the implications of the anthropocene for environmental ethics – the ontological challenges of the “end of nature” and the “end of the local” – and 2) how the anthropocene relates to human dominance, interventionism, and anthropocentrism. I consider the tension between an interpretation of the anthropocene as the end of nature and its interpretation as epitomizing interventionism and anthropocentrism, what we lose when we let go of the pillars of environmental ethics and whether we can afford to, and how we could possibly maintain them – all linked to an interpretation of gene drives as human interventions into nature. This exploration brings him to an analysis of the relation between ontology and ethics in environmental ethics for the anthropocene, reflection on the anthropocene technology concept, and consideration of the role of demarcation in assessments of technology.

The defense will take place at the Omnia building at 16:00.