The Observatory of Scientific Communication of the Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona and the Esteve Foundation inaugurated a series of debates under the name Scientific progress/Social dilemmas with the topic DNA and Society. These debates were aimed at reflecting on the issues arising from the appearance and assimilation by society of the medical-biological progresses and at fostering the exchange of knowledge among the different agents involved. The debate was held May 7, 1997 at the conference room of the Observatory and was moderated by Vladimir de Semir, from the Pompeu Fabra University.