On genetic modification and gene editing

Man-made objects question the notions of “nature” and “culture”. They also question the notion of “creation” itself, as humans have developed technologies capable of editing the DNA of living organisms. From genetically modified plants and animals to gene editing on humans, scientists are now able to modify the whole ecosystem. Will science and creativity become a tool to face – for example - climate change? Will animals, plants, and humans be obsolete in the future? How will the concepts of partnership and power be redefined? How is technology transforming the world?

GMOs: history, perspectives, ethics
Lecture by ecological anthropologist Glenn Davis Stone
Friday, November 8, 7:30–9pm
Free & open to public with RSVP

CRISPR Genome Editing and Butterfly Genomics research at George Washington University
Lab visit with biology professor Arnaud Martin
Saturday, November 9, 2–3:30pm
Free & open to public with RSVP 

About the Participants

Glenn Davis Stone is an anthropologist whose work centers on the politics and ecology of food and agriculture, including smallholder, alternative, and capitalist industrial agriculture and agricultural biotechnology (GMO’s).  His ethnographic fieldwork has been in Nigeria, India, the Philippines, and Appalachia, with additional research in prehistoric archaeology in the US Midwest and Southwest and in a biotechnology laboratory. Author of one book and over 60 academic articles, he has been awarded fellowships by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the School for Advanced Research, and most recently the Simon Guggenheim Foundation. He is past president of the Anthropology and Environment Society. He is currently a Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

Arnaud Martin is an Assistant Professor at the George Washington University and has been carrying research in the field of Evolutionary Developmental Biology for the past 12 years. He has specialized in the study of the genetic and developmental mechanisms behind butterfly wing patterns and his team is focusing on the use of CRISPR genome editing to understand how butterflies and moths, which encompass one out ten of all species with a name, have become so incredibly diverse.


About the Project

NATURA NATURANS is an artist-driven educational experiment that consists of lectures, workshops, field trips, and an exhibition exploring our changing understanding of nature in the Anthropocene. Curated by the artist Anne-Sophie Coiffet, who divides her time between DC and Paris, this twelve-week project examines topics as varied and interrelated as the co-mingling of natural and human objects and systems, securing legal status for ecosystems, silent places and acoustical trash, genetically modified crops and butterflies, space junk and oceanic micro-plastic, and more.


Buy SneakersKamala Harris' Stepdaughter Ella Emhoff Wows in Coat at Inauguration News


WPA & George Washington University



November 8–9, 2019