Enacting Ethical Futures

  • Rebecca Dimond
  • Neil Stephens


The legalisation of mitochondrial donation is the latest iteration of a particular UK sociotechnical imaginary around human embryo research and use; one in which strict but permissive oversight and licensing from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) operates to legitimise practice. This imaginary has an embedded notion of the good society as ethical, consultative, concerned about the welfare of its citizens and economically successful. Its continued durability increased the amenability of mainstream UK biomedical politics to legalising the techniques, and through this we see the operation of power. We reflect upon the relationship between mitochondrial donation and the next invocation, and potential iteration, of this imaginary: contestation about Crispr/Cas9 gene editing. We close by articulating how the legalisation of mitochondrial donation is the enactment of an ethical future.


Sociotechnical imaginary Enacting ethical futures Mitochondrial donation Gene editing Crispr/Cas9 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social SciencesCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.Social and Political SciencesBrunel University LondonLondonUK

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