Forbidding Science: Some Beginning Reflections

Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (3):271-282, 2009.


Growing powers to manipulate human bodies and minds, not merely to heal disease but to satisfy desires, control deviant behavior, and to change human nature, make urgent questions of whether and how to regulate their use, not merely to assure safety and efficacy but also to safeguard our humanity. Oversight in democratic societies rightly belongs to the polity, not merely to self-appointed experts, scientific or ethical. Yet the task of governing the uses of dangerous knowledge is daunting, and there is little evidence that we have the will or the wisdom to do it well.

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