In April, 2009, IPRIA and CITE organized a panel debate and public discussion on “should genes be patented?”. Here is a summary of the event, including video podcasts. More details about the event are on the ipria website. If you have comments or thoughts to share about the discussion, please add them to the “comments” section at the end of the page.
NEW: Transcribed text for the event is now available: IPRIA+CITE Public Forum on Gene Patents-final.
The event began with a welcome address by Beth Webster, director of IPRIA.
Then, each of the panelists made a brief presentation. First up was Dr. Gillian Mitchell, a leading oncologist in Australia and Head of Familial Cancer Centre, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne.
Next was Professor Gregory Mandel from Temple University, USA:
He was followed by Professor Dan Peled, an Economist from Haifa University, Israel.
Professor Dianne Nicol from the University of Tasmania provided a legal perspective:
An open discussion involving both the panel and members of the audience. The discussion was moderated Professor Joshua Gans, Professor of Information Economics at Melbourne Business School and Director of CITE. The first topic discussed was the effect of gene patenting on scientific research.
This was followed by a discussion on the tradeoffs and legality of gene patents, spearheaded by Luigi Palombi and Hazel Moir from the Australian National University who were in the audience:
The discussion then moved to possible solutions, triggered by another audience member, David Thorburn from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and President of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia.
Finally, Joshua Gans wrapped up the event with a funny and insighful presentation.
We thank the panel speakers and several audience members for allowing us to include them in this video podcast, as well as for their contributions to the debate.
If you have thoughts or comments about the issue, feel free to post them in the “comments” section below. We do not moderate or censor any submissions, except for spam and those containing obscenities.