6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Best Science Book of 2011(?),
This review is from: Unnatural: The Heretical Idea of Making People (Hardcover)
"Unnatural" is a stunningly intelligent book. Philip Ball is masterful in his exploration on society's (pre)conceptions of IVF and associated reproductive technology. The tabloid (and worryingly, occasionally broadsheet) announcement of new advances in reproductive technology as either "Brave New Baby" or "Franken(insert pun here)" is put under the microscope by highlighting that these prejudices are built essentially from cultural relics. From Prometheus and Daedalus, to Faust and Frankenstein's Monster, Ball deftly distils the underlying unease which accompanies these tales, and how they shape the narrative into which new discoveries are shoehorned.
Later focusing on IVF whilst looking forward to the possibility to cloning, Ball manages to put the rhetoric to one side and look objectivity at the merits and fears associated with these developing technologies. Catholic doctrine is also examined here - although without the arrogance or bile associated with other scientific writers. As a PhD student of cell biology and biochemistry, I can also applaud Ball's clear and precise explanations regarding the scientific aspects of IVF and cloning.
A truly necessary book - I'd advise anyone to read it before they consider opening their mouth and airing an opinion on reproductive technology.