The Science Literacy Project is the umbrella name for the Genetic Literacy Project online, launched in 2012 with grants from the John Templeton Foundation and Searle Freedom Trust, with future plans to engage other science topics. It's a huge success story. The GLP receives upwards of 15,000 visitors daily, accessing our vast archive of 20,000 articles. Our impact on the national debate on biotechnology is well documented. The GLP/Gene-ius Big Ideas Project is now refocusing its website and outreach efforts on Biotechnology 2.0: the revolution ignited by CRISPR/gene editing, gene therapy and synthetic biology, which are radically transforming medicine, human genetics, food and farming.
Science is no longer confined to understanding and explaining the world, uncovering nature’s secrets. It is now capable of writing those secrets, rewiring nature at the cellular level. Biology and genetics have gone from passive observation to active creation.
How 'synthetic' should our future be--in medicine and in farming and food? Can we ameliorate genetic diseases and insulate our food supply from climate change? Are we compromising God's or Nature's genetic code to 'perfect' humankind? What does it mean to be human?
The SLP/GLP has always focused on the intersection of science, media and policy. That will continue; but we our redesigning our site and mission to report more extensively on the legal, ethical and religious questions raised by the CRISPR revolution and other new biotechnologies that open the door to manipulating life itself.
Key to the SLP's transformation is our focus on monitoring how society 'manages' this revolution--through legislation, advocacy, science dialogues and public discourse on ethics and faith. The SLP/GLP has numerous initiatives planned, including monitoring regulations on biotechnology and the creation of a unique panel of science -savvy ethicists and theologians to promote high-profile public forums to engage the CRISPR revolution.