Gene technologies (also known as genetic engineering) belong to the most influential developments in recent decades. They offer an opportunity to intervene in the genomes of nature and man. As they affect the most diverse areas of life, the debates about them touch directly on people's living environment. Specifically because of their potentially far-reaching impact on research, agriculture and medicine, the public perception of them often vacillates between fear and hope.
Against this backdrop the Gene Technology Report wishes to promote the preconditions for an objective debate about the different gene technologies in Germany. The Research Group comprising reputed representatives from the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences is an impartial and open-ended observatory which precisely examines the different applications of genetic engineering and keeps a close eye on their development.
In addition to the latest technical developments, it also looks at the diverse areas where genetic engineering is used. It focuses on economic, ecological and scientific aspects of individual applications of gene technology as well as on ethical, political and social factors.
The Group began its work in 2001. Since then it has shared its findings and recommendations for action with political, scientific and economic circles in a series of publications that began with the first „Gene Technology Report“ in 2005. The Gene Technology Report gives the public at large access to the topics it addresses not only in its numerous publications but also at different events it organizes on a regular basis.
The Group was a long-term task of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. From 2019 to 2021 it was financed by the Friede Springer Foundation and since 2022 it is based at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) at Charité. The work of the Gene Technology Report is coordinated by research staff in its office at the BIH.