Code Of Codes

Code Of Codes

by Daniel J. Kevles, Leroy Hood, LeRoy Hood
     
 

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The human genome is the key to what makes us human. Composed of the many different genes found in our cells, it defines our possibilities and limitations as members of the species. The ultimate goal of the pioneering project outlined in this book is to map our genome in detail -- an achievement that will revolutionize our understanding of human development and the

Overview

The human genome is the key to what makes us human. Composed of the many different genes found in our cells, it defines our possibilities and limitations as members of the species. The ultimate goal of the pioneering project outlined in this book is to map our genome in detail -- an achievement that will revolutionize our understanding of human development and the expression of both our normal traits and our abnormal characteristics, such as disease. The Code of Codes is a collective exploration of the substance and possible consequences of this project in relation to ethics, law, and society as well as to science, technology, and medicine.

The many debates on the human genome project are prompted in part by its extraordinary cost, which has raised questions about whether it represents the invasion of biology by the kind of Big Science symbolized by highenergy accelerators. While addressing these matters, this book recognizes that far more than money is at stake. Its intent is not to advance naive paeans for the project but to stimulate thought about the serious issues--scientific, social, and ethical--that it provokes. The Code of Codes comprises incisive essays by stellar figures in a variety of fields, including James D. Watson and Walter Gilbert and the social analysts of science Dorothy Nelkin and Evelyn Fox Keller. An authoritative review of the scientific underpinnings of the project is provided by Horace Freeland Judson, author of the bestselling Eighth Day of Creation.

,The book's broad and balanced coverage and the expertise of its contributors make The Code of Codes the most comprehensive and compelling exploration available on this historymaking project.

Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times

So far, the research (on human genetics) is on track, according to Kevles and Hood, who edited [this] impressive collection of thirteen critical essays by leading biologists, computer scientists and social scientists commenting on both the Genome Project itself and the important ethical implications of the new discoveries in human genetics.
— John Wilkes

Nature

The Code of Codes...gives a very balanced cross-section of views on both the scientific aspects of the project and many of the social issues surrounding it...In studying the human genome, much will be discovered about the evolution of life and living systems and if, as the book tries to show, there are fears, there is also hope that this knowledge will benefit humanity. What more can one want?
— Sydney Brenner

Science

This book provides much valuable information on a program that has become international rather than provincial, but whose perceived urgency may exceed its justification.
— Bernard D. Davis

Los Angeles Times - John Wilkes
So far, the research (on human genetics) is on track, according to Kevles and Hood, who edited [this] impressive collection of thirteen critical essays by leading biologists, computer scientists and social scientists commenting on both the Genome Project itself and the important ethical implications of the new discoveries in human genetics.
Nature - Sydney Brenner
The Code of Codes...gives a very balanced cross-section of views on both the scientific aspects of the project and many of the social issues surrounding it...In studying the human genome, much will be discovered about the evolution of life and living systems and if, as the book tries to show, there are fears, there is also hope that this knowledge will benefit humanity. What more can one want?
Science - Bernard D. Davis
This book provides much valuable information on a program that has become international rather than provincial, but whose perceived urgency may exceed its justification.
Library Journal
Another popularization of the Human Genome Project, this one has the distinction of being the first published as an anthology, and among its contributors are some leading scholars, scientists, and social critics. The three parts of the book present essays covering topics in ``History, Politics, and Genetics,'' ``Genetics, Technology, and Medicine,'' and ``Ethics, Law, and Society.'' Some of the essays are quite provocative, especially editor Kevles's ``Out of Eugenics: The Historical Politics of the Human Genome,'' Dorothy Nelkin's ``The Social Power of Genetic Information,'' Ruth Schwartz Conan's ``Genetic Technology and Reproductive Choice,'' and James D. Watson's ``A Personal View of the Project.'' Still, there is a good deal of substantive overlap among the essays and, while the discussions by experts are more sophisticated and specialized than those appearing in other books, little new information is presented for general readers. Public libraries with either Jerry Bishop and Michael Waldholz's Genome ( LJ 7/90) or Robert Shapiro's The Human Blueprint ( LJ 9/1/91) do not need this title, but academic libraries should consider it.-- Gregg Sapp, Montana State Univ. Libs., Bozeman
Booknews
Fourteen contributions (seven based on lectures delivered at Caltech 1989-1990) provide a historical introduction to the project's technical, social, and political background and explore the substance and implications of the project in relation both to genetics, technology, and medicine, and to ethics, law, and society. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674136465
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
01/01/1992
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
408
Product dimensions:
0.84(w) x 6.14(h) x 9.21(d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Kevles is Stanley Woodward Professor of History and Law at Yale University.

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