The CoSTEP, Hokkaido University have held a regular Science Café in Sapporo, a city of nearly 2 million people. This offers small but important opportunities in which people can have frank exchanges of opinions on a scientific topic.
On June 6, we organized a science café called “Science Intervening in Life.” The topic was ‘Selecting and Modifying Human Embryos and its Social Implications’.
This café aimed to create a public dialogue, which might lead to a nationwide discussion on whether we accept such advanced assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) or not.
The guest speaker was professor Tetsuya Ishii who specializes in the ethics of assisted reproductive technology as well as regenerative medicine. About 80 citizens and students attended the meeting.
In the beginning of the café, Ishii informed participants of pros and cons of preimplantation genetic screening, mitochondrial donation and germline (egg, sperm, zygote, embryo) genome editing in a well-balanced manner. Then, the attendees discussed those who benefit in addition to those who suffer from such ARTs.
Here, we introduce the results of the questionnaire that was carried out immediately after the cafe.