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About Arts, Culture & Human Biotechnology

Mention genetic technologies or human enhancement to the average person, and more likely than not their first response will reference the 1997 film Gattaca or Aldous Huxley's 1932 classic, Brave New World. Art and popular culture profoundly influence how we think about ourselves and each other, and portrayals of human biotechnologies are likely to affect how we think about future social arrangements. Ultimately this can shape the policy decisions we make today.

The social meanings of human biotechnologies have been pondered in film, television shows, painting, and other visual arts; in speculative fiction, novels, and children's books, and other literature; in performance and experiential art; and even in a project that produced a living rabbit engineered to glow in the dark.

Born that way? ‘Scientific’ racism is creeping back into our thinking. Here’s what to watch out for.by W. Carson Byrd & Matthew W. HugheyWashington PostSeptember 28th, 2015Two recent studies and a review of current events show the media and white communities embracing the idea of racial genetic differences in order to avoid confronting the history of systemic oppression of racialized groups.
What If Tinder Showed Your IQ?by Dalton ConleyNautilusSeptember 24th, 2015In a future society where human genetic engineering is pervasive, humans are like a mono-culture staple crop, and screening embryos for desirable traits is a trade-off governed more by politics than health concerns.
Bioethics in the Grocery-Store Checkout Lineby Ruth GrahamThe AtlanticSeptember 15th, 2015If you don’t follow celebrity gossip, you might have missed just how often stories about reproductive technology are gracing the covers of tabloid magazines.
What Are You Doing with My DNA? by Diana KwonScientific AmericanAugust 21st, 2015The play “Informed Consent” explores deep ethical questions in genetics research.
"Eggsploitation: Maggie's Story" Reveals Unknown Risks of Egg Retrieval by Emma ManiereBiopolitical TimesAugust 13th, 2015"Eggsploitation: Maggie's Story" reveals how the fertility industry takes advantage of individuals' altruistic motives in search of profit while the medical risks remain unknown.
Ex Machina: Of Screens and Peopleby George Estreich, Biopolitical Times guest contributorAugust 3rd, 2015The image on the poster isn’t what it seems. Ava, with her lights and transparent body, looks like the AI of the future, but she can also be read as an image of the present: a life threaded with information technology.
UC Irvine to Exhibit Artworks Created via Biological Engineeringby Mike BoehmLos Angeles TimesJuly 31st, 2015Artists who want to manipulate the building blocks of life as we know it to create art as we’ve never known it.
The House of Hidden Mothers by Meera Syalby Aisha FarooqDESIblitz.com [UK]July 22nd, 2015A new novel explores issues of infertility and surrogacy that affect South Asian and British Asian society today.
Forgotten Stories of the Eugenic Age #2: Eugenics, Love, and the Marriage Problemby Natalie OveyssiBiopolitical TimesJuly 20th, 2015When gazing deeply into a lover's eyes, eugenists advised, women should not look for the "yearning, burning, soulful fires, which rage in the erotic litany of love," but for symptoms of eye disease.
Sympathetic Sci-Fiby Joshua RothmanNew YorkerJuly 14th, 2015The new sci-fi series "Sense8" fantasizes about human "enhancement" via broadening empathy and social connection.
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