IntroductionProf John Dupré was one of the speakers at a debate about genetics, race and sport.
Egenis Director Professor John Dupré joined the panel for an evening debate organised by the Progress Educational Trust (PET). ‘Genetic Medalling’ took place at the Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London, on Tuesday 7 June.
The evening saw experts with contrasting perspectives discuss the relationship between genetics, sport and race. If we do find performance-related genes, how might this affect our attitude to sporting ability, fairness, equity and justice? What might the consequences of this relationship be for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London?
Prof Dupré was joined by science writer and broadcaster Connie St Louis and sport geneticist Dr Alum Williams. After the introductory presentations the bulk of the debate's running time was devoted to questions and comments from the audience. The discussion was chaired by Dr Arnand Saggar, senior consultant in clinical genetics at St Georges NHS Trust. Among the questions addressed were: Given that genetic tests are becoming available in the market place, is it reasonable to bar athletes from using genetics to maintain their competitive edge? To what extent can genetic information guide children in their athletic endeavours and what are the dangers of pushing children too far? How much might science be manipulated to support implied, inbuilt prejudice?
The evening was organised by the PET in partnership with the Royal Society of Medicine, supported by the Wellcome Trust A more detailed report is available on the Bionews website.