Arts & Culture

Art and culture can have a profound influence in shaping public opinion and policy decisions about biotechnologies. From Aldous Huxley’s classic 1932 novel Brave New World to films like GATTACA and TV shows like Orphan Black, popular culture profoundly influences how we understand the potential impacts of emerging biotechnologies. Scholars have even created terms like the “CSI effect,” which refers to how crime show story lines make the public overly confident about the accuracy of DNA as a forensic tool. In general, works of art and pop culture can provide important insights into the risk that unreflectively embracing new technologies can exacerbate existing inequalities.


Biopolitical Times

Twenty years after its release, the film Gattaca remains an enduring touchstone for discussions of human genetic technologies. Starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, and Jude Law, Gattaca presents a dystopian vision of the “not-too-distant future,” in which society is divided into genetic “haves” and “have-nots.” The “Valids,” conceived through IVF and selected for supposedly “superior” genetic profiles, monopolize high status careers and positions in society; the “In-Valids,” conceived without technology, are discriminated against and excluded, presumed to be “inferior” because...

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Why, people want to know, did Barbra Streisand decide to clone Samantha, her coton de tulear? What would compel someone to spend $50,000 or more to create a genetic replica of a pet dog?

In the recent buzz over pet...

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It was basically an aside — an odd and interesting nugget in an interview with Barbra Streisand that otherwise dealt...

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Sometimes it seems there are so many ways to destroy women that the methods become invisible to us. There are...

Image taken from the front of a lecture hall facing the empty seats.

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Biopolitical Times
Biopolitical Times
Cartoon image of a bearded man in button down shirt with a surprised expression on his face. He is pointing over his shoulder at a colorful pie chart.

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Dog

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Two light tan dogs playing in the grass.

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