The New Biology: What Price Relieving Man’s Estate?

Science 174:779-788, 1971.


Recent advances in biology and medicine suggest that we may be rapidly acquiring the power to modify and control the capacities and activities of men by direct intervention and manipulation of their bodies and minds. Certain means are already in use or at hand, others await the solution of relatively minor technical problems, while yet others, those offering perhaps the most precise kind of control, depend upon further basic research. Biologists who have considered these matters disagree on the question of how much how soon, but all agree that the power for “human engineering,” to borrow from the jargon, is coming and that it will probably have profound social consequences.

Science [pdf]