sábado, 20 de agosto de 2016

Book Review – The Ethics of Invention: Technology and the Human Future

Book Review – The Ethics of Invention: Technology and the Human Future

Review: ‘The Ethics of Invention’

A Harvard academic’s new book on the ethics of technology asks important questions about the regulation of developments in science and research.

In The Ethics of Invention: Technology and the Human Future, Harvard Kennedy School Professor Sheila Jasanoff argues that the political mechanisms for the ethical oversight of technology and research have failed to keep pace with rapid developments in applied science (particularly biomedical research).

Through countless meticulously researched case studies and examples, Jasanoff provides a detailed and comprehensive account of how technology is affecting our lives in ways we are only just beginning to understand. While there have been countless benefits that have come with the technologies that help define our modern lives, Jasanoff is apprehensive about unforeseen and undesirable outcomes.

“It would be foolish at best and dangerously innocent at worst to deny the advantages of the human-made instruments and infrastructures that make up the environments of modernity… Yet, whether we treat technology as a passive backdrop for a society that evolves according to unconstrained human choice or attribute to technology superhuman power to shape our destinies, we risk making conceptual errors that threaten our well-being …”
Jasanoff’s discussion ranges from recent developments in genetics, such as GMOs and gene editing, to changes to privacy affected by social media and the pervasive influence of the internet.

While acknowledging the pluralistic nature of most Western societies, Jasanoff encourages government and industry to work together to facilitate dialogue about the sorts of values that particular technological developments promote, and the sorts of values that we hold and want to advance in the community. Jasanoff is, after all, under no illusion that new technologies are somehow ‘value-neutral’ or ‘value-free’.

With accusations of Neo-Luddism flying at anyone who dare question the ethics of artificial intelligence research, Jasanoff’s book is a timely and thoughtful intervention into public debate. 
- See more at: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/book-review-the-ethics-of-invention-technology-and-the-human-future/11970#sthash.FOzbruWs.dpuf


Costa Rica is a small Central American republic of about 4.5 million people which is remarkably stable, compared to other countries in the region. It is one of the few countries in the world without a standing army. Its democratic institutions are robust. A higher proportion of people turn out to vote than in the US. The percentage of seats in parliament held by women is nearly double that of the US – about one-third.
Yet Costa Rica has been dragooned by an international court into enacting legislation which violates its Constitution. In 2000 it became the only country in the world to ban IVF, based on a Supreme Court ruling that this violated a constitutional guarantee to the right to life for the unborn. Last year, after many legal battles, Costa Rica was ordered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to enact legislation enabling IVF -- against the will of its legislature and Supreme Court. “Seven foreigners are making decisions about human life in Costa Rica,” said one deputy bitterly. After more legal tussles, clinics began offering IVF procedures last month.
Regardless of where one stands on the ethics of IVF, this seems like a low point for respect for democracy. An article in Nature crowed over the victory and said that the next goal must be the legalization of abortion. There’s something quite cynical about this. If the Inter-American Court of Human Rights struck down the death penalty in the US, all Americans would be united in their outrage. Voters in the UK supported Brexit because EU courts were suborning UK legislation, amongst other issues. Yet no one is defending Costa Rica’s right to make up its own mind on controversial bioethical problems.
This is The Mouse That Roared with an unhappy ending.  

Michael Cook



This week in BioEdge

by Xavier Symons | Aug 20, 2016
Criticism reached fever pitch as the 26th International Congress of The Transplantation Society convened on Chinese soil.

by Xavier Symons | Aug 20, 2016
Editor of Bioethics says the baby boomer generation are pushing euthanasia.

by Michael Cook | Aug 20, 2016
Rising cost of burials could be responsible

by Michael Cook | Aug 20, 2016
Leading medical journal refuses to back down from controversial article

by Xavier Symons | Aug 20, 2016
Desperate couples are turning to surrogacy agencies in Cambodia.

by Michael Cook | Aug 20, 2016
Three women tel the BBC of the sorrow of separation

by Xavier Symons | Aug 20, 2016
A Harvard academic’s new book on the ethics of technology asks important questions about the regulation of new developments in science and research.

by Michael Cook | Aug 20, 2016
A crowded calendar

by Michael Cook | Aug 18, 2016
The major protagonists in the campaign for legalisation explain their views
Suite 12A, Level 2 | 5 George St | North Strathfield NSW 2137 | Australia
Phone: +61 2 8005 8605
Mobile: 0422-691-615
New Media Foundation | Level 2, 5 George St | North Strathfield NSW 2137 | AUSTRALIA | +61 2 8005 8605 

No hay comentarios: