Category Archives: Ethics of science

Cracking the Code of Life

The glass is half full, but any of the controversial sciences like genetics or stem cells have not yet been poured into the glass.  The economical and cultural states of our country reflect the simple fact that, as a people, we are not ready for this medical revolution, and PBS uses key scenes to warn […] Continue reading

Posted in Ethics of science, Gene patenting, Religion and genetics, Science and humanities, Stem cell research | Comments Off on Cracking the Code of Life

Genetic Mapping – Do You Want to Know?

The PBS Nova special “Cracking the Code” brought up a number of interesting possibilities about the future of DNA research. Most interesting to me was the special’s take on testing for specific genetic diseases and predispositions. “Sometimes, there may be a test, but it might take twenty years, or fifty years. Fifty years to find […] Continue reading

Posted in breast cancer gene, ethics, Ethics of science, genetic determinism, Genetic discrimination, Genetic testing, human genome project | Comments Off on Genetic Mapping – Do You Want to Know?

Powers, Pater, Penman: Generosity and Mindfulness

Richard Powers’s book Generosity, An Enhancement might center its narrative around the seemingly unflappable, amicable Thassa Amzwar, but is the book actually ABOUT her? Killian C. Quigley doesn’t seem to think so; using quotes from Walter Pater’s Studies in the History of the Renaissance and Danny Penman, he argues that the fascination with Thassa is […] Continue reading

Posted in 19th Century, 21st century, brain plasticity, cognitive science, Danny Penman, emotional health, Ethics of science, generosity, genetic determinism, happiness, Mark Williams, mental health, mindfulness, pathologization, psychology, richard powers, Science and humanities, Studies in the History of the Renaissance, Walter Pater | Comments Off on Powers, Pater, Penman: Generosity and Mindfulness

Bioethics and Nationality: A Romance

Of course, certain cultural and historical values would affect the decisions and attitudes of their citizens, and Erin Pellarin applies this to bioethics, Chromosome 6, and Never Let Me Go. Using the perceived differences between Britain and America, she argues that a question of humanity becomes a nationalist debate. And perhaps, using this theory, we can […] Continue reading

Posted in American, Chromosome 6, Eddie Izzard, Ethics of science, Never Let Me Go, Priscilla Wald, the human | Comments Off on Bioethics and Nationality: A Romance

The Laws of Life

The “reanimation” of life can refer to much more than zombie media would have us automatically think. Killian C Quigley describes a 1984 court case where the legality of the marketplace for byproducts of life, in order to “reanimate life” came into question. But he also raises the question, “What is life?” Is it a […] Continue reading

Posted in biotechnology, biovalue, Capitalism, Catherine Waldby, Dr. Golde, ecology, Ethics of science, John Moore, Melinda Cooper, Moore v. Regents of the University of California, neoliberalism, reanimation, Robert Mitchell, speculation, Terrence Rafferty, tissue, tissue economies, waste, zombies | Comments Off on The Laws of Life

Blood Work, Chimeras and the Practice of Science

Ethical controversy over science is nothing new: in this post, Erin Pellarin compares the modern-day controversy over human stem-cells being placed in animal embryos to the controversy in 1667 over blood transfusions from one species to another. The main concern is always over the faint line between human and animal; at what point does this […] Continue reading

Posted in blood transfusions, Chimeras, early modern science, Ethics of science, genetic engineering, historical/ cultural study, history of science, Stem cell research | Comments Off on Blood Work, Chimeras and the Practice of Science

Jimmy’s Dilemma: The Completion of Crake’s Vision

The ending of Oryx and Crake is one of the more controversial parts of the book, partially for its vague cliffhanger, partially for the implications that Jimmy’s actions have on his current state of mind. This is what Erin Pellarin questions, theorizing that perhaps Jimmy has been brainwashed by his solitude and Crake’s purpose for […] Continue reading

Posted in Atwood, brainwashing, ethical dilemma, Ethics of science, future for humanity, Genetic Disease, genetic engineering, Oryx and Crake, plague, post-apocalyptic | Comments Off on Jimmy’s Dilemma: The Completion of Crake’s Vision

​”The Scientific Life” in Real Life: Steven Shapin and “Popular” Science

Killian C. Quigley draws a comparison between Steven Shapin’s The Scientific Life and Martin Robbins’s article “Scientists say…”, detailing the relationship between scientific progress and its popular perception. Robbins’s article focuses on the journalistic spread of misinformation, which can lead to misconceptions of science by the public. Meanwhile, Shapin’s purpose is to reevaluate the individual’s […] Continue reading

Posted in academia, consensus, Ethics of science, history of science, Martin Robbins, popular science, science journalism, sociology of science, Steven Shapin, technoscience, the diet industry, The Gu, The Guardian, the MMR scare | Comments Off on ​”The Scientific Life” in Real Life: Steven Shapin and “Popular” Science

Shapin’s Science: Virtue and Science

Perhaps one of the greatest impediments to scientific advancement is the question of morality and virtue, especially concerning the commercial value of the growth of scientific technology. Erin Pellarin examines this in the blog post below, but she brings up additional questions of monetary gain; how exactly does money fit into the discussion of virtue […] Continue reading

Posted in Ethics of science, history of science and virtue, humanities and science, money and science, Morality, role of scientists, science and ethics, Sokol's Hoax, virtue | Comments Off on Shapin’s Science: Virtue and Science

The Future (of the) Social Contract

Erin Pellarin draws a comparison between Dawn and “Beggars in Spain” in her discussion of social contract and how they might affect human relationships in the future. In addition, she contemplates what the future of humanity itself may become; what responsibilities and privileges does a person have in regards to his fellow man? How defined […] Continue reading

Posted in biopolitics, definition of relation with others, ethics, Ethics of science, futurity of humanity, genetic engineering, relationship with ailens, Social contract | Comments Off on The Future (of the) Social Contract