The Human Genome Project (HGP) brings genetics and genetic knowledge to the point of paradoxical counterproductivity. Population-wide genetic screens, replacing specific tests intended for and useful to those at risk, become counterproductive when the HGP's "normal human" defines everybody as at risk. Moreover, the knowledge generated by the HGP disables those whom it is meant to serve: We are rendered impotent as a laity, subject to expertise regarding the truth of our being. The standard response here is that we need more science education and easier access to scientific knowledge. But that is simply to beg the question. The question to ask about knowledge is not whether it is true or properly scientific (which it may very well be) but rather whether it is good. The good of knowledge must be demonstrated and not uncritically assumed. Thus, more education can, too, be paradoxically counterproductive. What, then, are our prospects?
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)