Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Science and Society

Will cloning produce armies of Einsteins or reduce mankind to Aldous Huxley’s proletarian slaves? Are genetically modified seeds and animals a source of future plenty, or Frankenstein foods poised to haunt us? Will technology and the Internet make totalitarianism a fading memory or provide future tyrants with the means to end our privacy? Does science promise more equality or will it widen the gap between the world’s haves and have-nots? Where, indeed, is today’s scientific revolution heading?

Before scientific advances work their way into public policies, it is vital for the public to understand and explore their implications. Debate about science and technology – their ambitions and implications for daily life – is at the forefront of an intellectual conversation about the future of the world. But it is the rare scientist who can speak to a wide audience; it is even rarer for journalists to be able to capture the concepts and concerns of scientists.

Project Syndicate brings cutting-edge science alive with a monthly series of commentaries that decipher esoteric ideas and “translate” them into a language that newspaper readers can understand. Science and Society provides the context in which today’s “eighth day of creation” can be comprehended and acted upon. Month after month, Science and Society captures the excitement of scientific discovery and brings to newspaper readers many of the great minds working at the cusp of scientific progress.

Contributors have included Nobel laureates Pierre-Gilles des Gennes, Paul Berg, and Leon Lederman; path breaking researchers such as physicist Anton Zeilinger, paleontologist Kevin Padian, medical sociologist Dorothy Nelkin, astronomer and physicist Eugene Parker, biologist Bruce Alberts, and UN expert on environmental catastrophes Arne Jernelov.

The series is edited by Joanna Rose, science writer for Forskning & Framsteg magazine and producer of Swedish Radio’s “Filosofiska Rummet” program.

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