Towards Open and Responsive Gene Drive Science

Kevin M. Esvelt

RNA-guided gene drives have the power to single-handedly alter shared ecosystems, yet they are accessible to individual researchers. 1 Applications of gene drive 2 and other ecotechnologies could save millions of lives and numerous species, but development, social acceptance, and use pose ethical and practical challenges due to the difficulty of obtaining communal consent. If the public is to have a voice in decisions that will affect the shared environment, we must conduct all gene drive research in the open from the earliest stages. Through scientific leadership, invention, advocacy, outreach, and the judicious use of intellectual property, I will ensure that gene drive development is open and responsive to a diverse community of citizens aiming to freely discuss concerns, identify potential flaws, and determine whether, when, and how candidate gene drives should be used. Success will provide highly visible real-world benefits while encouraging a broader shift toward open science.