Public Imaginations of Genome Editing in Livestock (Bayerische Forschungsstiftung)

  • PI: Prof. Dr. Ruth Müller
  • Researcher: Julia Feiler

In science and in society, the CRISPR-Cas9 system is currently discussed as revolutionary new genetic technology. The novel technique promises more precise and cost-efficient ways of genetically “editing” the genomes of a wide variety of species. Potential applications range from the drastically simplified production of genetically modified crops and livestock to the development of new gene therapies. In the agricultural sector, the new technical possibilities have raised hope that they will enable more resource-efficient and sustainable forms of agriculture as they could complement existing traditional breeding techniques. At the same time, the possibility of gene editing raises a range of ethical, political and social concerns and has stirred up debates about if, how and when these new technologies should be used.

As part of the transdisciplinary research consortium FORTiGe, which is funded by the Bavarian research association: we examine public and scientific perceptions and imaginaries of gene editing technologies. We focus particularly on potential applications of gene editing for livestock breeding in the specific Bavarian context. Using qualitative social science research methods such as interviews and scenario-based focus group discussions, we examine how different stakeholders, including farmers and breeders, perceive the opportunities and challenges of gene editing. We thereby facilitate inclusive deliberation about what the responsible development of gene editing technologies could look like in the specific national and local context of Bavaria.

Project leader(s):
Prof. Dr. Ruth Müller

09.2018 – 05.2021

Project type:
["Verbundprojekt \/ Consortium Project"]

Funding institution:
Bayerische Forschungsstiftung