Bruce Alberts on Dangers of Genomic Research
  Bruce Alberts     Biography    
Recorded: 22 Aug 2008

Well there’s always…Science, increased knowledge from science, always has the danger that you create for people who want to do something bad. You create powerful tools for them to do it. I mean the atomic bomb is the most obvious one. And obviously that’s happening, already has happened. But presumably it will happen more and more in biology and we’re going to have to be able to control what people do. And science, the scientific community is going to have to play a big role in setting standards, ethics, what’s ethical, what’s not. The Academy already did that in the sense of making an important report maybe 5 years ago on human cloning, saying that it should be banned. And all the arguments and there are, anybody could read…and you know, we have to keep on looking carefully at what things should not be done. But there’s no…it’s just not reasonable to try to prevent knowledge from increasing. You can’t do it anyway and that knowledge, more importantly that knowledge is so critical for treating human disease, and creating new forms of energy, and solving so many human problems, that the balance we need, we urgently need the knowledge. We just have to control its future use.

Bruce Alberts, currently Editor-in-chief of Science, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysic at the University of California and United States Science Envoy. He received A.B. (1960) in Biochemical Science from Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts and Ph.D. (1965) from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1966 he joined Department of Chemistry at the Princeton University and after 10 years he became professor and vice chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysic at the UCSF.

Alberts work is best known for his work on the protein complexes that allow chromosomes to be replicated. He is one of the authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, a major textbook in the field. He served two-six years terms as a president of National Academy of Science (1993-2005). During his administration at NAS, he was involved in developing the landmark of National Science Education standards.

Among many honors and awards (16 honorary degrees), he is Co-chair of the InterAcademy Council and a trustee of Gordon and Betty Moore Fundation.

More Information: Wikipedia, UCSF