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Project Management Team

John Dryzek, Simon Niemeyer and Nicole Curato from the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra, Dianne Nicol from the Centre for Law and Genetics at the University of Tasmania and Sonya Pemberton from Genepool Productions in Melbourne, Australia and Antoine Vergne from Missions Publiques have an ambitious plan to convene the world’s first Global Citizens’ Assembly on genome editing. The proposed assembly is intended to provide concrete response to the urgent ethical and regulatory questions in relation to genome editing technologies. The Global Citizens’ Assembly will bring together around one hundred participants representing different countries across all continents. Participants will take part in five days of deliberations about the global principles of governance of genome editing. They will have access to eminent scientists at the forefront of genomic research, ethicists, and other stakeholders. They will have the ear of decision-makers at national and global levels. Central to the design of the Global Citizens’ Assembly is its ambition to provoke a global conversation about genome editing. The Global Citizens’ Assembly will be featured in a three-part science documentary series about how citizens of the world might weigh in on one of the most consequential and complicated issues of scientific ethics.


Project Leader, University of Canberra

Simon Niemeyer 

Simon Niemeyer is the Associate Dean for Research at the Faculty of Business, Government and Law at the University of Canberra. He has designed, implemented and assessed over twenty deliberative forums in the past ten years on a range of

topics—from biobanking in British Columbia to climate change in the Australian Capital Territory to begging in Uppsala. His work has been published in top academic journals including The American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Science, Science and Nature. 

As Project Leader, Simon is in-charge of the overall coordination of the global research and partner networks. He is also leading the design, implementation, and assessment of the Global Citizens’ Jury.


Project Leader, University of Canberra

John S. Dryzek

John S. Dryzek is the founder of the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance. He holds the prestigious Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship for his work on environmental politics, global justice, and cultural variety 

Jin deliberative practice. He is the author of more than fifteen books on deliberative democracy and environmental politics and a fellow at the Academy of Sciences in Australia. Before moving to the University of Canberra, he was the head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Oregon, University of Melbourne and the Social and Political Theory Program at the Australian National University. 

As one of the original proponents of a Global Citizens’ Assembly, John is leading the conceptualisation of the Global Citizens’ Assembly’s design and assessment.


Project Leader, University of Canberra

Nicole Curato

Nicole Curato is the author of the books Democracy in a Time of Misery: From Spectacular Tragedy to Deliberative Action (2019, Oxford University Press) and Power in Deliberative Democracy: Norms, Forums, Systems (2018, Palgrave). She is an Associate

Professor at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance and the editor of the Journal of Deliberative Democracy.

Nicole is best known for her work on the everyday politics of deliberative democracy in the aftermath of crisis, disasters, and trauma. Aside from her academic work, Nicole conceptualises and hosts a television programme for CNN Philippines and has written for international publications including The New York Times and Al Jazeera.  

In this project, Nicole is leading the research on ‘technologies of transmission’ or the role of documentary filmmaking in forging a global conversation about future technologies. 


Collaborator, University of Tasmania

Dianne Nicol

Dianne Nicol is the Director of the Centre for Law and Genetics at the University of Tasmania. She is leading two Australian Research Council-funded projects which examine the legal, research and social issues associated with genomic data 

sharing and the regulation of innovative health technologies including somatic cell genome editing. Dianne’s expertise offers a unique combination of her PhD research in the field of biology and her legal specialisation on patenting of biotechnology inventions. She is a member of the Australian Academy of Law and holds the title of Distinguished Professor.

Dianne’s primary roles in the project involve framing the citizen deliberations with the broader ethical, legal, and social context of genome editing globally, and articulating the outcomes of the deliberations in various forums.


Collaborator, Genepool Productions

Sonya Pemberton

​Sonya Pemberton is one of Australia’s leading factual television producers specialising in science. 2012 Emmy Award-winner and record-breaking five-time winner of the prestigious Eureka Award for Science Journalism, her passion is quality

science programming. Sonya has written, directed and produced over 60 hours of broadcast documentary, her films winning over 70 international awards. She also executive-produced many award-winning factual series and one-off programs, including the 2015 global science-history series Uranium: Twisting The Dragon’s Tail for SBS, PBS and ZDF/ARTE.

As a writer and director, her films include the critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning documentaries, Jabbed: Love, Fear and Vaccines, Vaccines:Calling the Shots, Catching Cancer, and Immortal which featured the work of Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, won the 2012 Emmy award for Outstanding Science programming.


Collaborator, Missions Publiques

Antoine Vergne

Antoine Vergne is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Missions Publiques. He specialises designing, implementing, and evaluating processes of citizen participation that can scale at the global level while keeping a high level of quality.

He has experience coordinating high profile international projects, including the World Wide Views on Biodiversity (2012) and Climate and Energy (2015), the Global Citizens’ Dialogue on the Future of the Internet and the International Citizens’ Dialogue on Autonomous Mobility. Antoine holds a PhD in Political Science from Freie Universität Berlin and Institut d’ études politiques de Paris.


Antoine is collaborating with the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance in this project, as part of Missions Publique’s thrust of developing new modes of decision-making that responds to the demands of governance in the twenty-first century.


Project Manager, University of Canberra

Josephine Wright

Josephine Wright is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with extensive experience as a producer across many genres including science, wildlife, history and contemporary factual programs.  

Jo has coordinated projects in difficult environments from Svalbard to Chernobyl to outback Australia. She has delivered projects to Broadcasters around the world, from ABC Australia to BBC UK to RTBF in Belgium.

As project manager for the Global Citizens’ Assembly, Jo is leading the coordination of global partners in terms of project schedules, deliverables, and communication.


Collaborator, Missions Publiques

Huy Tran-Karcher

Chi Huy Tran-Karcher, M.A., is Head of Strategic Partnerships at Missions Publiques. He is engaged in various projects, including a stakeholder dialogue for the UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, building a network of citizens´

assemblies on climate in Europe, and EU Horizon 2020 research projects. Prior to joining Missions Publiques, he served as Head of Climate in the European Climate Foundation, where he managed high-level multi-stakeholder dialogues, commissioned comprehensive research studies and engaged in advocacy. He also has extensive experience in the financial sector and international cooperation.


In the Genome Editing Project, Huy is focusing on building a strategic network of global partners and elevating the political impact at international level.


Frequently Asked Questions

We’re looking for regional partners, volunteers, and philanthropic organisations to support this ground-breaking project.

We have reached a singular global moment. We can now edit genes with unprecedented ease and precision.  How do we apply this technology? What sort of future do we want? And who gets to decide?

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