IntroductionEgenis Associate Fellow John Bryant is the author of a new book on bioethics.
Beyond Human? Science and the Changing Face of Humanity has been published by Lion (Oxford).
Recent scientific advances have made it possible to do the unthinkable - clone, design our own babies, 'genetically enhance' soldiers, and wipe out entire populations with a simple airborne chemical. Such technology means that 'nature' no longer follows an inevitable course, and that our decisions have unprecedented power. Professor Bryant's book introduces many of the most significant scientific advances of recent years in fields such as assisted reproduction, cloning, genetics, medical technology and even transhumanism, and asks us to stop and think about what they mean for us. New technology has developed so quickly that we haven't had time to consider all of its ethical implications - but not to do so is to risk our own humanity.
Professor Bryant says "I have tried to discuss how 'being human' has played out over the millenia of human history, focusing eventually on our own society, and then gone on to ask whether developments in biomedical technology, biotechnology and information technology threaten our understanding of what it is to be human."
Professor Allan Chapman of the University of Oxford writes: “Bryant supplies a masterly, readable, and deeply informed critique of the current arguments based upon extensive original research. Beyond Human? must be reckoned essential reading for everyone concerned about the deepening chasm between scientific and technological possibilities and ethical, humane, and just conduct."
Beyond Human? can be ordered online and from all good bookshops, price £9.99. ISBN: 9780745953960