The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights
Faculty of Law
P.O. BOX 4 (visiting address: Yliopistonkatu 3)
Tel: +358 (0)29 4123140



Guest Lecture by Prof. Gregg on Human Rights and Genetic Engineering.

Date and Time: 24th May 14.00-16.00 in Porthania P518

Hosted by Prof. Jaana  Hallamaa, from Theology Department.

Prof. Gregg will present proposals for how best to understand and advance human rights, in particular with respect to issues of human genetic engineering. This rapidly developing technology raises urgent and difficult human rights questions. Prof. Gregg’s work concerns translating, into the human rights vocabulary, cutting-edge research and fast-developing biotechnology focusing on human genetic engineering.

Prof. Gregg will deliver a public lecture on the human rights challenge of human genetic engineering. The lecture will be followed by discussion.

Bio: Benjamin Gregg, currently a Fulbright Research Professor at the University of Linz in Austira, teaches social and political theory at the University of Texas at Austin, and often in Germany (Frankfurt/Oder), Austria (Innsbruck and Linz), China (Tsinghua and Shanghai Jiao Tong), and Japan (Hokkaido). He graduated from Yale College with a degree in philosophy, received a D.Phil. from the Free University of Berlin in philosophy, and a Ph.D. from Princeton in political science (with an M.A. in sociology). Studied with Michael Walzer in Princeton, Axel Honneth in Berlin, and Seyla Benhabib at Yale. He is the author of Thick Moralities, Thin Politics (public policy suffers when politics are laden with moral doctrines; public policy should work not toward political consensus but toward the more realistic goal of mutual accommodation); Coping In Politics with Indeterminate Norms (while moral validity is relative rather than absolute, and cultural meanings local rather than universal, social integration and democratic politics are still attainable goals); and Human-Rights as Social Construction (human rights can be authored by the average, ordinary people to whom they are addressed, and that they are valid only if embraced by those to whom they would apply), and The Human Rights State (a metaphorical alternative to the nation state, a polity without territory, standing alongside the nation state, as a political and moral commitment that, in the pursuit of human rights, would limit the nation state without undermining it). He is currently working on a book for Cambridge University Press titled Human Nature as Cultural Design: The Political Challenge of Genetic Engineering (in the sense of genetic therapy and genetic “enhancement”).