Human Genetics Alert

Unit 112 Aberdeen House 22-24 Highbury Grove, London N5 2EA
Phone: 020 7704 6100 fax: 020 7359 8423


13 th January 2005

For immediate release

Ground-breaking multi-faith bioethics seminar on genetics and reproductive technologies

On January 25-26 th, leading international bioethicists and theologians will be gathering for a ground-breaking seminar in London (1). The focus of discussions will be on the crucial ethical and social issues raised by the revolution in genetics and reproductive technologies.

The event, which is funded mainly by The Islamic Scientific Educational and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO;2) and the World Islamic Call Society (2) is an important initiative from the Islamic world to establish interfaith dialogue on bioethics. As such it is a key step towards increased international understanding on issues that are of paramount importance to the global community. The seminar will be opened by the Director General of ISESCO, and major religious leaders have been invited to speak at the opening.

Amongst the bio-ethicists and theologians taking part are Anwar Nasim (Pakistan), Munawar Anees (USA), Sahin Aksoy (Turkey), Abdul Rahman al-Awadi(Kuwait) Haitham al-Khayyat (Egypt), Rabbi J. David Bleich (USA) Noam Zohar (Israel), Lisa Lehmann (USA), Rabbi Michael Broyde (USA), Ted Peters (USA) Ludger Honnefelder (Germany), John Wyatt (UK), H. Tristram Engelhardt (USA), Hille Haker (USA), Roberto Mordacci (Italy), Gerhard Baader (Germany) Chris Goodey (UK), Angus Clarke (UK) and Tom Shakespeare (UK). The seminar will be structured to allow equal contributions from Islamic, Christian, Jewish and secular perspectives. The scholars will be focusing on themes such as Humanity and Creation/the Natural World; Genetics, Reproductive Technologies and the Family; Social Impacts of Genetic and Reproductive Technologies; and How and Where do we Draw the Lines?

Members of the media who are interested in the event should call the seminar organisers, Human Genetics Alert (2) on 020 7704 6100.

Notes for editors

1. The seminar, entitled ‘Human Genetic and Reproductive Technologies: Comparing Religious and Secular Perspectives’, is being held under the joint auspices of ISESCO, University College London, and Human Genetics Alert.

2. ISESCO is an intergovernmental organisation of Muslim states, founded in 1981. Based in Rabat , Morocco , its work parallels that of UNESCO.

The World Islamic Call Society is the world’s foremost Islamic benevolent organisation. Amongst its previous interfaith dialogue projects was its 1997 dialogue colloquium with the Vatican .

Human Genetics Alert is an independent watchdog group based in London . It is funded by leading British charities.

3. Please note that this event will be a private seminar rather than a conference. Since the aim of the seminar is to encourage an atmosphere of trust, essential to open dialogue, the seminar itself will not be open to the media, except during the opening ceremony. However, some of the participants have indicated their willingness to be interviewed by the media, and should be contacted via Human Genetics Alert.

Human Genetics Alert
Unit 127 Aberdeen House
22-24 Highbury Grove
London N5 2EA
t +44 (0)20 7704 6100
f +44 (0)20 7359 8423