Published August 4, 2003
The New Atlantis, Number 2, Summer 2003
OF EMBRYOS AND EMPIRE
by Eric Cohen
There is something profoundly strange about the world’s only superpower, at such a time of global reckoning, concerning itself with so small a thing as the human embryo. But for that very reason, we can learn something important about American civilization from the embryo battles that vex us. Eric Cohen asks what is at stake in the embryo research debate, and what a responsible politics of the embryo might look like.
THE NANOTECHNOLOGY REVOLUTION
by Adam Keiper
From science fiction to the halls of Congress, the promise and perils of nanotechnology have become big news. But just what is nanotechnology, what are its prospects, and how should policymakers and citizens think about it? Adam Keiper explores the surprisingly varied meanings of nanotech, and the implications of our growing control over the very small.
HAS TECHNOLOGY CHANGED WAR?
THE NEW FACE OF WAR
by David Skinner
From satellites to laser-guided missiles to unmanned aircraft to a panoply of portable devices, the new gadgets of combat seem intended to make war as safe as possible, both for the soldiers who fight and the bystanders whose “collateral” destruction was once an accepted fact of modern warfare. David Skinner asks if they also make wars more just, or more acceptable, and if they should change the way our culture thinks about the use of military force.
WAR AND TECHNE
by Gilbert Meilaender
Our ultra-modern weapons have radically altered the practice of war, and yet the deepest truths and most profound reflections on war may come from a time when the tools of combat were a sword in one hand and a shield in the other. Gilbert Meilaender considers what the timeless classics of war might teach us about the temptations and moral dilemmas of American power.
OPTIMISM, PESSIMISM, AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
WHY CONSERVATIVES CARE ABOUT BIOTECHNOLOGY
by Adam Wolfson
What is it about biotechnology and its advances that many conservatives find troubling? Adam Wolfson considers the effects of biotech on our moral ideals, social institutions, and the American project, and asks whether the Right is right to worry.
HUMAN NATURE IS HERE TO STAY
by Larry Arnhart
Both boosters and critics of biotechnology seem certain that it will radically alter human life and human nature. Larry Arnhart argues that both sides are vastly exaggerating, because neither quite understands the biological origins and the moral inclinations of our Darwinian human nature.
EUGENICS—SACRED AND PROFANE
by Christine Rosen
A Jewish organization in Brooklyn is combining the age-old techniques of Orthodox matchmaking with the brand new techniques of genetic testing in an effort to avert disease. Meanwhile, an increasing number of IVF clinics have begun testing embryos for undesired traits and discarding the unfit. Christine Rosen considers the future of eugenics in the age of genetic knowledge.
STATE OF THE ART
A Survey of Technology and Society, by the Editors
- Mercy and Drugs in Africa: Inside the Bush Administration’s New AIDS Policy
- My Mother, the Embryo: She-Males, Fetal Eggs, and Children of the Unborn
- Year of the Red Planet: An International Wave of Interplanetary Exploration
- Clueless: Moral Silliness from Some Spokesmen of Science
- Navel-Gazing: Bioethics and the Unbearable Whiteness of Being
- Porn, Privacy, and Kids: Congressional Attempts to Make the Internet Child-Friendly
- Carried Away with Convergence: The Merging of Nanotech, Biotech, Infotech, and Brain Sciences
- Boys Will Be Boys: The Science of the Y Chromosome
- Crackdown!: Stepping Up the Fight against Music Piracy
- Stopping Spam: As the Spam Problem Worsens, Congress Seeks a Remedy
- Technology, the Great Enabler?: How Jayson Blair Conned the New York Times
- ‘Something History Will Not Forgive’: Tony Blair on Terrorism and the Environment
- Notes & Briefs:Cloned Mules, Forgetful Mice, Camera Phones, etc.