Support Aeon

‘Worldly and thought-provoking, there’s nothing on the internet quite like Aeon.’

Freddie W, USA, Friend of Aeon

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Give now

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Give now

ORIGINAL

The need for a new bioethics

6 minutes

From identity politics to medicine, the DNA revolution demands a new bioethics

From the discovery of the double helix structure in 1953, to the Human Genome Project of the 1990s and early 2000s, to the Precision Medicine Initiative announced by President Barack Obama in 2015, the DNA revolution has touched almost every corner of society. While a deeper understanding of genetics offers great potential for positive social change and targeted medical treatments, it also presents complex new ethical challenges that must be confronted with care and a thorough understanding of the history of racism in science. In this Aeon interview, Alondra Nelson, dean of social science and professor of sociology and gender studies at Columbia University in New York, argues that this unique moment requires a new bioethics that takes into account ‘the full social life of DNA’.

Producer: Kellen Quinn

Interviewer: Nigel Warburton

Editor: Adam D’Arpino

Get Aeon straight
to your inbox
Join our newsletter
Aeon is not-for-profit
and free for everyone
Make a donation
Essay/
Fairness & Equality
The respect deficit

Economic inequality is an urgent problem. Deeper still is our loss of mutual respect, the foundation of a fair society

Richard V Reeves

Essay/
Education
Look up from your screen

Children learn best when their bodies are engaged in the living world. We must resist the ideology of screen-based learning

Nicholas Tampio