chapter  2
Gene Drives and Species Conservation
An Ethical Analysis
ByRonald Sandler
Pages 16

In this chapter, I conduct an ethics and value analysis of the use of gene drives in the field for species conservation purposes. I argue that there are two importantly different perspectives from which to ethically evaluate gene drives in conservation. The first is as a novel conservation tool, one that enables conservation biologist to effectively accomplish familiar goals, such as invasive species eradication, within a familiar conservation framework. When considered in this way, there are likely to be cases where gene drives are evaluated favorably on familiar decision-making criteria in comparison to alternative conservation approaches and techniques. The second is as a novel form of conservation, one that enables conservation biologists to intervene into the biology of the organisms of the at-risk species, rather than (or in addition to) the familiar practice of managing its ecological and social context. When considering using gene drives in this more creative way, we must be attentive to how this technological power has the capacity to restructure aspects of conservation practice, as well as conceptualizations of the point and value of conservation.