Issie Robertson - Teen takes on bioethics
Dunedin teenager Issie, or Isabelle, Robertson has had a paper arguing against genetic modification to prolong human life, published in the prestigious international Journal of Medical Ethics. The 16-year-old student at St Hilda's Collegiate School became interested in genetic modification after interviewing bioethicist Julian Savulescu, a professor of practical ethics at Oxford University, for a school project about people with interesting careers. She disagreed with the professor's support for parents selecting genetic traits for their children - including to make them live longer. In her paper, Robertson questions whether modifying human embryos to extend a person's lifespan can ever be considered ethical practice.