EDST 391 Ethics & the Human Genome
Advances, Assumptions, and
Chapters 3-7 (History, Fate, Environment, Intelligence, Instinct) of
Matt Ridley's The Genome
- Background: Genomic science and technology promises great
benefits. We have focused so far on the ethics and social
merits of using those technologies--what we "ought to do." We
turn to the likely constraints on what such technology might actually be
able to do--the "can do." Some of those constraints are likely to arise
the very nature of the genome itself. In discussing the
mysteries and complexities of the human genome, Ridley's book
conveys some sense of what those constraints might be.
- Task: Please keep a running log while you are reading his
book, and bring it to class for our discussions. For each day's readings,
record the following:
- Summary (with page numbers) of discussions particularly relevant
specialty area (e.g., gene therapy, forensics, embryo selection, etc.)
There will be some on some days, but perhaps none on others.
- Inherent constraints on developing feasible genomic technologies
owing to the way the genome itself works or is built.
- Any ethical claims or assumptions embedded in Ridley's discussion of