Public views on gene editing and its uses


Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Would you make the same decision? Box plots of survey responses to each gene editing vignette (adult therapy, prenatal therapy, adult enhancement or prenatal enhancement).
Figure 2: National differences on “Would you make the same decision?” (n = 11,716).


  1. 1

    Baltimore, D. et al. Science 348, 36–38 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Bosley, K.S. et al. Nat. Biotechnol. 33, 478–486 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics and Governance (The National Academies Press, 2017).

  4. 4

    Fitz, N.S. et al. Neuroethics 7, 173–188 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Hainmueller, J., Hangartner, D. & Yamamoto, T. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 112, 2395–2400 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Schermer, M. Bioethics 22, 355–363 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Parens, E. Hastings Cent. Rep. 35, 34–41 (2005).

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Torgersen, H. et al. in Biotechnology: the Making of a Global Controversy, (eds. Bauer, M. & Gaskell, G.) 21–94 (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2002).

    Google Scholar 

Download references


This research was funded by the European Commission as part of the study “Neuroenhancement, responsible research and innovation” Grant Agreement No: 321464. The field work was conducted by Respondi. This study complied with the ethical regulations of the Research Ethics Committee of the London School of Economics. Data created during this research are openly available online at

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to George Gaskell.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Note 1

Supplementary Note, Supplementary Table 1 (PDF 468 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gaskell, G., Bard, I., Allansdottir, A. et al. Public views on gene editing and its uses. Nat Biotechnol 35, 1021–1023 (2017).

Download citation

Further reading


Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter for a daily update on COVID-19 science.
Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing