CGS is a pro-choice organization, and positions itself as politically "progressive", although its positions on some issues are similar to those of traditionally conservative groups. Its key areas of concern include: stem cell research, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, race-based medicines, egg retrieval, designer babies, human cloning, sex selection, and genetic modification of humans.
CGS was founded to advocate for political oversight and control of the new human biotechnologies. It grew out of a series of conversations and collaborations with key leaders in science, medicine, women's health, environmental justice, and human rights. This initial phase, conducted as a project of the Public Media Center in San Francisco, involved raising awareness of leaders in science, medicine, and civil society of these technologies’ potential impact, and the case for regulating them.
CGS formally began operations in October 2001. A primary focus has been to alert civil society constituencies to the challenges posed by the new human genetic technologies and assist them in building their capacity to engage in the discussions and debates about appropriate regulation. CGS has also lobbied governments during the processed of policy formulation. It was involved in the early stages of the United Nations effort to propose an international treaty prohibiting human reproductive cloning. It has been particularly active in the stem cell research debate in California, where it has played a lead role in holding the state’s new $3 billion stem cell research program accountable to what it sees as the public interest.
CGS has two program areas: Biotechnology Accountability and Gender, Justice, and Human Genetics.
The Biotechnology Accountability Program grew out of discussions that CGS initiated in mid-2004 with pro-choice and other traditionally conservative and religious organizations in California about possible flaws and conflicts of interest in the now enacted $3 billion Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative. CGS has continued its efforts to highlight what the organization sees as the need for greater public oversight of biotechnology.
CGS's Gender, Justice and Human Genetics Program was developed to inform women’s health, reproductive rights, disability rights, and racial justice groups about these technologies, what’s at stake, and available policy options.
A University of Chicago professor has reached some uncomfortable conclusions about . . .Intelligence, genetics and race: Bruce Lahn's claims about the evolution of the human brain have sparked a furor
Jun 18, 2006; Last September, Bruce Lahn, a professor of human genetics at the University of Chicago, stood before a packed lecture hall and...