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Genetic Crossroads
May 9th, 2003

Article: Jesse Reynolds, "Human Biotechnology:
Responding to Emerging Dangerous New Human Genetics" Z
(April 2003)

As 2003 began, the mainstream press was grappling with a cloning
hoax. This January, it launched extended coverage of the 50th
anniversary of the identification of DNA's structure. Both events
provided golden opportunities to deepen public understanding
of the social and political implications of new human genetic
and reproductive technologies.


Article: Susan Lindee, "Watson's World,"
Science (April 18, 2003)

This review of two recent books - one by James Watson, the other
about him - challenges not only Watson's "normative framework"
but also the direction of biology in recent decades. "Watson's
invocation of health care costs to justify testing and selective
abortion is vintage eugenics. Watson urges biologists to "stand
tall" and "not be intimidated by the inevitable criticism"
that will come with promoting germ-line gene therapy to "redress
genetic injustice." Injustice comes in many forms, of course.
For most people on the globe today, germ-line gene therapy to
improve their children is not remotely possible--their pressing
health care needs are for vaccines, nutrition, and environmental
justice. An argument could be made that health care expenditures
should reflect human needs, rather than potential corporate


Event: BioDevastation 2003

May 16-18, St. Louis, MO USA

The May 2003 Biodevastation Gathering, subtitled "A Forum
on Environmental Racism, World Agriculture and Biowarfare,"
will be the seventh in this series of international grassroots
gatherings, and a cutting-edge event defining links between
environmental racism and the biotechnology industry.


Event: Science and Social Responsibility

June 20 - June 23, The Hastings Center, Garrison, NY USA (45
miles north of New York City)

"The purpose of this intensive workshop on science and
social responsibility is to help respond to a widespread call
for a more active participation by young research scientists
in discussion and action on social, ethical, and political issues
in the life sciences. Interested parties should send a letter
describing their research experience in dealing with issues
of science and social responsibility and indicating if they
will need full or partial financial support. The letter should
be sent to Daniel Callahan, Director, International Programs,
The Hastings Center, 21 Malcolm Gordon Drive, Garrison, NY,
10503, 845-424-4040; fax: 845-424-4545; email: [email protected]."

Event: Transvision 2003 USA Conference

"The Adaptable Human Body: Transhumanism and Bioethics
in the 21st Century"

June 27-29, 2003, Yale University, New Haven, CT USA

This conference is seen by its organizers, the World Transhumanist
Association, as the beginning of a concerted drive to gain pubic
acceptance of transhumanist values.



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