Babies need mothers. Or so we have imagined. Yet two breakthroughs in the last couple of years call this into question. Using only skin cells as their starting point researchers in Japan in 2017 have grown egg cells in the lab. While in the Netherlands scientists claim they are within a decade of creating an artificial womb.
Does this technology make babies in the lab a credible outcome and motherhood and birth potentially unnecessary? Will it lead to a dystopian future and a profound threat to family life and society as whole? Or should we welcome the technique as a means to enable infertile couples and gay men to have children and women to avoid the risks of pregnancy?
Philosopher and co-founder of the World Transhumanist Association David Pearce, social commentator Theodore Dalrymple, and biomedical researcher Güneş Taylor imagine the future of the family.