British scientist Sir John Sulston won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work in genetics. He has long advocated that knowledge derived from the Human Genome Project be kept free and open for use by scientists. He opposes privatization of scientific information and patenting genes and genetic information.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Institute of Science, Ethics and Innovation (iSEI) at the University of Manchester, Sulston called for an international biomedical treaty to develop policies about the use of intellectual property and patents. Sulston asks us to consider, Who Owns Science? The mission of iSEI is to examine the social and ethical consequences of advances in technology and science, and how they can be managed in a way that improves the lives of people. Some of the ethical questions iSEI will be exploring are:
genetic manipulation of species to create hybrids
genetic selection of human embryos
disparity in funding in research of healthcare issues in the developing world vs. the developed world
ethics of healthcare delivery models (from the US based distribution of services by wealth to free access to care)
Sulston hopes to ensure that global justice and a better future for humanity are ensured along with strides in technology and science.