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Recreating the Wild: De-Extinction, Technology, and the Ethics of Conservation

Edited by Gregory E. Kaebnick and Bruce Jennings

Is extinction forever? In response to alarmingly high rates of biodiversity loss worldwide, some scientists have proposed using biotechnological tools like CRISPR-Cas9 to “bring-back” extinct species. But is it even possible to re-create a species? And how does such an effort square with conservation goals? De-extinction is an “arresting entry point into a larger set of questions about how biotechnological tools can support, coexist with, or undermine the goals of conservation,” states the introduction to this special report. “Are we creators or creatures, or both—and if both, then how can we achieve the balance between them that might be called humility?” The ten essays in this special report explore these and related questions. All essays in this special report are available for free.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

De-extinction and Conservation
Gregory E. Kaebnick and Bruce Jennings

ESSAYS

The Intersection of Genetic Science and Conservationism

De-extinction and Barriers to the Application of New Conservation Tools
Philip J. Seddon

De-extinction and the Community of Being
Curt Meine

Conservation Genetics, Precision Conservation, and De-extinction
Rob DeSalle and George Amato

Reclaiming Hope in Extinction Storytelling
Patrice Kohl

An Ethic for New Science?

Is De-extinction Special?
Henry T. Greely

De-extinction and Taking Control of Earth’s “Metabolism”
Christopher J. Preston

De-extinction and Conservation Genetics in the Anthropocene
Ronald Sandler

De-scenting Extinction: The Promise of De-extinction May Hasten Continuing Extinctions
Claudio Campagna, Daniel Guevara, and Bernard Le Bouef

The Moral Imagination of De-extinction
Bruce Jennings

The Spectacular Garden: Where Might De-extinction Lead?
Gregory E. Kaebnick