Gene editing – A survey of public opinion

What do people think of gene editing? We ran a survey to see if they agree with its use in different cases.


Since the CRISPR breakthrough in 2012, genome editing has been the focus of a huge amount of attention and debate, thanks in part to its incredible potential: delivering personalised gene-medicines, and preventing the inheritance of genetic conditions. However, as human genome editing is virtually prohibited everywhere, medical standards and governance frameworks are needed for it to become lawful.

  • Should we allow the implantation of edited embryos to prevent them suffering serious genetic disease once born?
  • Should we allow it for the purpose of benefiting future generations?
  • Why not for the purpose of ‘enhancing’ human characteristics?
  • Could genome editing deepen social divisions?
  • What are the dangers of commercial monopolisation?
  • How can we avoid potential harms?
  • What, in fact, does society in general think about all of this?

Download the survey results to learn what a representative sample of the British population replied to these important questions.