Wed 20th February - Sun 24th February 2019
In February 1996, Bermuda became a part of scientific history. At the International Strategy Meeting on Human Genome Sequencing, 50 scientists from all over the world selected the island as a neutral meeting location. Their goal? To negotiate the completion of The Human Genome Project.
Between 1990 and 2003 numerous labs undertook a mission to sequence the complete human genome. With this extensive collaboration came uncertainty about the fate of the gene sequences once deduced. Would each lab obtain a patent on their sequenced gene and sell this for profit? Or would they all be made publicly available to advance scientific research?
To the benefit of global society, these scientists held strong to the conviction that medical advancement should overrule financial gain. An agreement, entitled The Bermuda Principles, cemented the legacy of these values and all gene sequences were issued freely to the worldwide community.
The impact of The Bermuda Principles on the pace and depth of scientific research has been under-appreciated. This pact has been pivotal to medical advancement and set a solid ethical precedent for future research.
With the establishment of the Annual Bermuda Principles Conference, these principles continue to live on.
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