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  • Global Citizens Assembly

Australian Citizen Jury funding confirmed

We are excited to announce that the Australian Citizen Jury on Genome Editing has received funding through the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund Genomics Health Futures Mission.

The two-year citizen jury study titled Genome Editing: Formulating an Australian Community Response and will receive up to $472,107 in funding. The project will be run by the Centre for Law and Genetics at the University of Tasmania in collaboration with Swinburne University and the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra.

The Chief Investigator of the project, Professor Dianne Nicol, the Director of the Centre for Law and Genetics said gene therapy had long been touted for its potential to transform the lives of people affected by genetic disorders. Progress, however, has been slow, in large part due to uncertain safety and efficacy.

“New genome editing techniques offer huge advances but raise large ethical, legal and social questions. Understanding the community’s attitudes and concerns about gene editing has widely been recognised as the next step needed to bring these therapies into use, but the best way to engage the public in this discussion is yet to be worked out.”

Professor Dianne Nicol

A citizen jury of 24 community members will hear from experts and advocates about gene editing technologies, and will deliberate on how public policy should regulate them. The citizen jury’s deliberations will be analysed using the research team’s bespoke social scientific methods. The assessment of their deliberations will be reported to government and publicised.

The Australian Citizen jury will be held in late March 2021 and will feed into the Global Citizens’ Assembly scheduled for late 2021.

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