Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

Anthrax and the Mad Scientist

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyAugust 13, 2008 10:44 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

My latest Science Progress column is about how Bruce Ivins unfortunately reaffirms the damaging stereotype of the "mad scientist". As I put it:

Certainly science has had its dark episodes in the past--most notably the eugenics fad in the early part of the twentieth century (which is what works like Moreau and Brave New World were reacting to). But in the modern period, one could argue that most scientists, and biomedical scientists in particular, have shown strong moral consciences. The 1975 Asilomar conference, when scientists gathered to agree upon ethical guidelines for recombinant DNA research, and to ban some particularly troubling experiments, serves as a noteworthy example. So while the Frankenstein myth never dies, it also doesn't really fit reality today: Far and away most scientists save lives, rather than dooming them. And there are very, very few kinds of knowledge that we actually ought to regard as forbidden. But now, if we're to believe the FBI, then we have a case of reality coming around to match fiction....

You can read the entire column here.

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In