Environmentalism

Environmentalists analyze powerful new technologies, including genetic modification of crops, livestock, and potentially human beings, with close attention to their ecosystem and social effects. They highlight the need for caution and responsible social governance in the face of high-risk technological innovation, and often support regulating markets and corporations in order to ensure public health and well-being. Environmentalists have pioneered the precautionary principle, an approach that assigns responsibility for demonstrating the safety of risky new technologies to those who would benefit from them, rather than those likely to be harmed. These tools of technical, policy, and social analysis hold important insights for understanding and evaluating human biotechnologies.

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In September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the green light to a version of the plant Camelina sativa, an important oilseed crop that had been genetically engineered using CRISPR to produce enhanced omega-3 oil. What was interesting about this...

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What “Frankenstein” and the golem tell us about the power and responsibility of science.

January 1 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s remarkable novel about a scientist who cobbles together body parts and brings them...

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The easiest way to undermine good science is to demand that it be made “sound.”

Science is being turned against...

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Traditionally, most spying and intelligence gathering has been done by highly trained human operatives. But the US military has a...

A person suited in bioharzard gear, examines a sample of corn in a field.

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A woman of color holds a circular glass object in her opened left palm.

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Several black chess pieces are positioned side by side, standing upright.

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A pale hand holds an unlit light bulb.

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