Panel on Epigenetics, Health and Society draws large public interest

On Jan 18, 2017, the Professorship for Science and Technology Policy (Prof. Ruth Müller) organized a public panel discussion on “Rethinking the Genome. Epigenetics, Health and Society”. In front of about 130 interested guests, international experts from the life sciences, the social sciences and the humanities discussed the opportunities and challenges of epigenetic research for science and society from different disciplinary perspectives. Debated issues included how epigenetic perspectives entangle the body and its social and material environment on the molecular level, and if such a new “biosocial” perspective on the body might give rise to novel forms of individual and collective responsibility for health and illness. Controversially discussed topics were the potential heritability of epigenetic marks and whether epigenetic perspectives might lead to novel forms of biosocial stigmatization. The intensive discussion and great public interest point to a need for more public discussion about the potentials and challenges of epigenetics for science and society.


Picture: MCTS

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