Gene drives are genetic elements in sexually reproducing organisms that skew the pattern of inheritance of a given characteristic. They can be used to spread a characteristic that can alter or even reduce the numbers of individuals in wild populations of a certain species. As they spread by being inherited from one generation to the next, they could persist in populations long-term. The spreading property of gene drives could be a source of great potential in areas as diverse as the control of disease vectors, invasive species, agricultural pests and predators of endangered species. However, the same property may make containment challenging and therefore may also pose novel envi- ronmental risks. The evaluation, distribution of risks and benefits and the fact that gene drives may be seen as a particularly profound interference with nature further raises novel ethical considerations.