The ownership of life has become one of the most central and vehemently debated issues facing scientists working on isolating human stem cells and engineering new forms of life. What is life? What is natural? Do we want to promote the commercial development of these technologies (and when)? Are we somehow turning life into a commodity in the marketplace?
This lecture will bring together many thought-provoking voices and perspectives on the issues of owning life including legal, scientific, ethical, and economic. From the patenting of genes and organisms like the Chakrabarty oil-eating bacteria, to the ownership of our bodies and bodily tissues, these are among the most compelling moral and social issues facing our society today and will form the critical foundation of future discussions for years to come.