And Baby Makes Four
The disquiet we feel over new technologies that enable the creation of human embryos with three genetic parents may help illuminate deeper problems with arrangements that split apart the various biological and social aspects of parenthood. Read More.
The New Atlantis Turns Ten
EPPC’s New Atlantis journal celebrates ten years of concentrating on the human side of scientific progress. Read More.
When Folly Is Forever
Historians, accustomed to rummaging through document-stuffed archives, are now worrying about the future of the past. Our lives, they note, are ever more digitized: family joys and sorrows, work-place successes and setbacks, government directives and debates, are increasingly composed and conveyed digitally. The seeming ephemerality of these records—their formats may become obsolete or they may Read More.
In the Shadow of Progress
We live in an age of unprecedented human mastery – over birth and death, body and mind, nature and human nature. In every realm of life, science and technology have brought remarkable advances and improvements: we are healthier, wealthier, and more comfortable than ever before. But our gratitude for the benefits of progress increasingly mixes with concern about the meaning and consequences of our newfound powers. Read More.
It was five years ago this month, on February 1, 2003, that the space shuttle Columbia, returning from two weeks in orbit, was lost over Texas. Seven astronauts — six Americans and one Israeli — died as Columbia broke to pieces in the sky and fell aflame to earth. The hours that followed brought chaotic Read More.
Nanoethics as a Discipline?
Growing ranks of academics, analysts, and advocacy groups are focusing their attentions on the social and ethical implications of nanoscale science and technology. But what exactly is there for “nanoethics” to study? Adam Keiper considers the contrasts with the emergence of bioethics four decades ago, and casts a skeptical eye at the proliferation of professional Read More.
The Age of Neuroelectronics
The potential merging of mind and machine thrills, frightens, and intrigues us. For decades, experiments at the border between brains and electronics have led to sensationalistic media coverage, vivid science fiction portrayals, and dreams of cyborgs and bionic men. But recently, this area of science has seen remarkable advances—from robotic limbs controlled directly by Read More.
Artistry and Artifice
In a 1973 short story called “Light Verse,” science fiction author Isaac Asimov describes a dinner party at a lavishly decorated home. The charming and wealthy hostess is renowned for her unparalleled expertise at the art of “light-sculpture”: “three-dimensional curves and solids in melting color, some pure and some fusing in startling, crystalline effects that Read More.
Science and Congress
Many big decisions about the future of science take shape in the halls of Congress. Yet since the dismantling of the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) a decade ago, there has been no single institution with the sole mission of advising Congress about science and technology issues. Adam Keiper looks at the political and intellectual Read More.
Bush’s NASA Revolution
Exactly 35 years ago, on July 20, 1969, the “Eagle” landed and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon. It was a risky mission, like any great adventure into the unknown — so risky that William Safire, then a White House speechwriter, drafted a never-delivered just-in-case speech for Read More.
A New Vision for NASA
America’s space shuttle fleet is grounded, the International Space Station has been scaled back, and NASA is still floundering in the wake of the Columbia accident. The space agency’s woes are only worsened by its failure to make a compelling case for why we should send humans into space at all. Adam Keiper defends our Read More.
The Nanotechnology Revolution
From science fiction to the halls of Congress, the promise and perils of nanotechnology have become big news. But just what is nanotechnology, what are its prospects, and how should policymakers and citizens think about it? Adam Keiper explores the surprisingly varied meanings of nanotech, and the implications of our growing control over the very Read More.