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Brave New Worlds: Genetics and the Human Experience Hardcover – 18 Jan 1999

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (18 Jan. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002570211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002570213
  • Package Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,510,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Bryan Appleyard doesn't really have much new to say about the future of human society in the face of genetic science advances, but he states his arguments simply, precisely and quickly. In fact, Appleyard's main purpose seems simply to be a call for awareness. In a time where new discoveries about DNA and human biochemistry come fast and furious, Appleyard preaches vigilance, lest we end up with the genetic equivalent of the atom bomb--which is a perfect example, he says, of what naïve scientists will do when their knowledge is unchecked by society. His main points are that scientific knowledge is not (and probably has never been) morally neutral, despite the protestations of well-meaning advocates of science; that new developments are not always good; that genetic screening and abortion as currently practiced are eugenics; and that the practice of eugenics, no matter how well disguised, will lead us to a future that looks disturbingly like Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. We must decide for ourselves what we want before science and politics decide for us, says Appleyard. This short book is bound to anger scientists, religious leaders and people on both ends of the left-right political spectrum--Appleyard no doubt hopes it will get people talking about the "scientific juggernaut" of genetics. Brave New Worlds will also give readers a quick, anxious overview of the state of genetics-research policy in the wake of the first successful adult mammalian clone and the Human Genome Project, and plenty of food for thought about what it is to be human. --Therese Littleton

Review

'After the unravelling of DNA in 1953, the most important discovery in human history, man could seriously claim to have found the secret of life. Now, nearly 50 years on, says the author, genetic engineering places us at a moment in history when we can chose not just how we are going to live, but who we are going to be. However, he is worried we are going to sleep through this crucial moment and wake to find ourselves already in a brave genetic world. Hence this admirably clear, simple and essential book. It may leave you uneasy about the future, but at least you won't be ignorant.' Philip Knightley Mail on Sunday

'A lucid and compellingly written plea…He may not like what he sees but he looks it straight in the eye.' John R. G. Turner Times Literary Supplement

'A clear, fascinating and frightening uncoiling of this complex subject…These questions should be debated…and in that necessary task there could hardly be a better guide than this intelligent, passionate and profound book.'
Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy Spectator

'Appleyard relentlessly sniffs out humbug…in this penetrating and well-written contribution.' Kurt Jacobsen, Guardian

'This is a brave book…this critique needed to be written. Appleyard helps the non-specialist to confront and to appreciate the disturbing significance of some of [science's] achievements.'
Karen Armstrong The Sunday Times

'One of the most beautifully lucid and stimulating books I have read in a long time.' Rosalie Osmond The Tablet

'A profound and thoughtful account of the way in which we may be sleepwalking into a deterministic nightmare of the future because we are being taught by science that we have no other choice.' Rosalie Osmond The Tablet

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10 August 2001
Format: Paperback
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