Controlling Our Destinies: the Human Genome Project from Historical, Philosophical, Social, and Ethical Perspectives

Controlling Our Destinies: the Human Genome Project from Historical, Philosophical, Social, and Ethical Perspectives

by Phillip R. Sloan
     
 

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The Human Genome Project, an international scientific enterprise aimed at attaining a complete sequence and locator map of the entire human genetic structure by the year 2005, constitutes the largest single project ever undertaken in the life sciences. When completed, it will help pinpoint the genetic basis of virtually any human trait. It will also offer the

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Overview

The Human Genome Project, an international scientific enterprise aimed at attaining a complete sequence and locator map of the entire human genetic structure by the year 2005, constitutes the largest single project ever undertaken in the life sciences. When completed, it will help pinpoint the genetic basis of virtually any human trait. It will also offer the possibility for medical interventions for many diseases and abnormalities related to genetic processes. In this timely collection, scholars from the fields of philosophy, history, ethics, theology, and the natural sciences explore the complex, far-reaching issues surrounding the Human Genome Project.

Contributors discuss the historical background of the project, the issues behind the concepts of "code' and "genes,' the implicit reductionism in contemporary human genetics, the nagging issues surrounding potential new forms of positive "eugenics,' and the challenge the project presents for theological perspectives on human life.

Because of its interdisciplinary approach and its efforts to engage the scientific community in an informed discussion with humanistic scholars, Controlling Our Destinies stands alone among the literature on the Human Genome Project. In addition to its contribution to scholarly inquiry, it will be useful for classroom discussions and is certain to stimulate further analyses by both humanists and scientists of the wider issues surrounding the Human Genome Project as it develops into the next century.

About the Author:

Phillip R. Sloan is Professor in the Program of Liberal Studies and the Program in History and Philosophy of Science, as well as past Director of the Notre Dame Program in History and Philosophy of Science, at the University of Notre Dame. The Human Genome Project is an international scientific enterprise aimed at attaining a complete sequence and locator map of the entire human genetic structure by the year 2005, constituting the largest single project ever undertaken in the life sciences. The goal is to pinpoint causes of virtually any human genetic trait and eventually create cures for many diseases and abnormalities related to genetic processes. International cholars in this field explore the complex, far-reaching issues surrounding the HGP.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780268008185
Publisher:
University of Notre Dame Press
Publication date:
01/28/2000
Series:
Studies in Science and the Humanities from the Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values
Pages:
536
Product dimensions:
6.34(w) x 9.22(h) x 1.66(d)

What People are saying about this

Paul Lawrence Farber
Controlling Our Destinies contains the most penetrating set of available essays that explore the cultural dimensions of the Human Genome Project. It will become essential reading for those who want to assess the value and significance of the HGP. It's accessibility makes it a perfect supplement for any biology program that wants to explore what humanists can tell us about the HGP.
— (Paul Lawrence Farber, Oregon State University Distinguished Professor of History of Science)
Robert Olby
An excellent collection of papers from a truly inter-disciplinary conference focusing on the humanistic implications of the Human Genome Project. Masterminded and edited by the well known philosopher and historian of biology, Professor Phillip Sloan, the volume juxtaposes differing views on the many controversial issues raised by the sequencing of our genetic blueprint. This collection is an achievement in the spirit of the ELSIE initiative, and does credit to it.
— (Robert Olby, Research Professor, Department of History Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh)

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