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

Last year we were reacquainted with two familiar ethical conundrums: the creation of human “replicants” and research using human embryos. In the newly released Blade Runner sequel, the replicants are again made at the behest of the powerful and privileged, renewing our fears of human cloning gone wrong. Earlier in the year, Harvard geneticist John Aach and his colleagues published a cautionary article in eLife about SHEEFs, a new kind of embryo-like construct using induced pluripotent stem cells.

SHEEF stands...

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Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West have announced that their third child, a daughter, was born on Monday via surrogate....

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You have instant communicationon-demand entertainment, and dial-up transportation—why should you have to wait nine months to...

Wall display featuring large letters of ATCG in various colors. Behind, they are illuminated by a light.

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Bird's eye view of three scissors that look the same, lined up on a white table. The two on the sides are slightly opened, while the middle is completely closed.

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Three burning white candles, in a dark room. Candle wax drips on each.

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