Natalie Kofler on gene-edited babies

"We need to be able to reflect on how our research fits into society. That requires not just our intellects, but also our emotions. I fear that, in the pursuit of objectivity, science has lost its heart."

- Natalie Kofler

As a molecular biologist as well as a scholar at the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, Natalie Kofler straddles two spheres that are often in conflict. The unauthorized gene editing of human babies last year caused much consternation, but writing in today's issue of Nature, Dr. Kofler wonders why the scientists who knew about what was happening before it was reported didn't speak out. She thinks this was a symptom of a deeper disconnect between the work scientists are doing and how that work might be used or abused when it leaves the lab and enters wider society. She calls for initiatives that close the gap between research and what happens to it downstream, and the embracing of "socially informed scientific initiatives".