Gen-ethisches Netzwerk (Gen-ethical Network)
Gen-ethisches Netzwerk (GeN) was founded in 1986 in reaction to the rapid developments in biotechnological research. Since then we have observed and reported on research and industry trends in the fields of biotechnology, genetics and reproductive technology for the public.
Our goal is to make the developments in these fields accessible for emancipatory, socially focused debates in Germany. As a non-profit grassroots organisation we promote independent knowledge generation.
Our vision is:
- a just and sustainable and solidary future for all.
- a society that uses biotechnology, genetics and reproductive technology responsibly and for the common good.
- politics, science and research that include diverse perspectives and reflect social diversity.
Our latest publications in English:
- No public funding for the biologization of social inequality! Statement on the objectives and use of genetic data in the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). 09/2022
- "Genetics has a unique risk" interview with Dr. Krystal Tsosie about genetic research with Indigenous DNA. 08/2022
- Stop the unethical use of research data from minorities! Open Letter to Charité Berlin and the Berlin state government on the forensic DNA database YHRD. 06/08/2021
Our statement was mentioned in a news article of the journal Science.
- For reproductive justice! The ban on "egg donation" and surrogacy in Germany must be maintained. 02/06/2021
- No heritable genome editing in humans! Position paper on medical uses of genome editing. 05/11/19
How we work
In order to counterbalance the self-promotion of academia, industry and politics, we engage in critical science communication with a focus on the social implications of biotechnological and reproductive technology research. Our expertise is generated in cooperation with critical scientists, activist groups and initiatives of people affected by technologies. By joining or initiating campaigns and protests, we also actively advocate for transparency and responsibility in science, and ultimately a just and non-discriminatory society.
Our office in Berlin is managed by a small team of scientists and activists that work together with the members of our management board on our political and editorial work. Our advisory board meets once a year to discuss scientific and strategic questions. Since its establishment GeN publishes the quarterly German-language journal Gen-ethischer Informationsdienst (GID) which reports on our current work and the newest technological developments. As a non-profit organisation we are financed nearly exclusively by membership fees, GID subscriptions and individual donations. Our donors give us the basis for our political independence.
What we want
Our criticism of genetic engineering in agriculture and medicine is linked through the objective to promote a democratisation of science and technology policy. We advocate for pushing back capitalist dynamics of economisation in the different fields of biopolitics.
We strive for:
- preventing the cultivation of genetically modified crops in Germany as well as around the globe,
- critically observing the social, economic and ecological impact of new forms of genetic technology,
- preventing intellectual property rights on life,
- ending the normalisation and expansion of discriminatory reproductive technologies like selective prenatal diagnostics,
- preventing the legalisation of exploitative reproductive technologies like “egg donation” and surrogacy,
- promoting genetic and biological data protection,
- preventing release trials involving genetically modified plants.