Gene drive research requires early, sustained, and consistent stakeholder engagement.
The first guiding principle of the GBIRd partnership is early, sustained, and consistent engagement with stakeholders and communities. From the beginning, the partnership has agreed that one of the most important aspects of the project is social acceptance of this technology. Thus, we are engaging society and investigating the ethical and ecological implications of gene drives for island restoration.
This is not a fast process. Research into the use of gene drives for conservation is only in the early stages, but we can start now to ensure communities understand and accept the implications and benefits of this technology. This is a deliberate, step-wise process that will only proceed with public alignment, as recommended by the world’s leading gene drive researchers from the Australian and US National Academy of Sciences and many others.