Monday, February 07, 2005

Gene Doping Public Forum (USA)

This week, Portland State University hosted a public forum on gene doping. To my knowledge, this is the first 'public engagement' event on this subject. It was titled:

Super Athletes: A Public Dialogue about Genetic Enhancement and Sports.

Of particular concern seems to be clarification about the scientific basis of gene doping - what is really possible? To me, this is only one element of what public dialogue should entail. I have recently argued for a 'Public Engagement with Ethics' particularly in the context of science.

I am doubtful that public debates can really function in any satisfactory way without first consideration what are the salient aspects of public debate. While discussion abuot the technical aspects of science certainly can help to allay unsubstantiated fears about technology, it does not necessarily offer an empowering platform for the public to articulate their moral concerns.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

'Altitude Chambers' in the JME

This month, the JME includes 3 articles on the ethics of hypoxic training chambers for sport. The lead article by Spriggs disusses the Australian Football League's investigation into the ethical parameters of these 'altitude chambers'. A commentary is then offered by Torbjorn Tannsjo, Claudio Tamburrini and finally by Peter Fricker. Generally, the articles favour enhancement and changing the rules of sport to make enhancement more commonplace.