Creating Life from Life: Biotechnology and Science Fiction.pdf
This book melds essays on biotechnology written by scientists into science fiction stories. It opens a conversation about the morality of what we may one day be, and what it may mean to be human as our biotechnological endeavors continue to evolve. The biotechnology "revolution," launched on a global scale many decades ago, has taken a direct course toward re-creating life. Yet there are still many choices to be made in shaping the future that it may one day make possible. The book motivates readers toward deep reflection and continual discourse, which is essential if biotechnology is to evolve in ethical, meaningful, and sustainable ways.
Rosalyn W. Berne earned her PhD in religious studies, with a focus on bioethics, at the University of Virginia, USA. As associate professor of science, technology and society at the University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Prof. Berne teaches courses in "science, technology and contemporary issues" and "engineering in western culture," as well as courses in "technology and human reproduction." She is recipient of the National Science Foundation "Career Award" which for five years supported her research on ethics in nanotechnology development. Her research interests focus particularly on the role and function of the moral imagination, personal belief, mythology, and metaphor in the pursuit of technological development. Seeing the capacity of science fiction to provoke reflection and moral imagination, she both writes and teaches that genre.
Introduction and History. Science-Story Dialectic as a Discourse of Change. History of the Biotechnology Revolution. Understanding Problems & Approaching Cures. The "Vicious Cycle" of Obesity. Madeline. Prion Diseases. Carnivore's Game. Climate Change and the Future of Freshwater. Negotiations. Adult Stem Cells to Cure Diabetes-induced Vision Loss. Shadows, and Sugars, and Shades of Grey (Madeline, Part. 2). New Knowledge & New Capabilities. Neogenesis. Madness Enough to Break the World. Who Do They Think They Are? Emmanuel. Keys to Bioproducts from Agriculture. Soon They'll Know our Secrets. Dr. Hyde. The Promise and Pitfalls of Cognitive Enhancement. Build Me a Memory. On We Go. To Where, Who Knows? The Uncertain Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. Ronin. Closing Reflection on the Word "Revolution".