Thank Extropy Its Friday.
I have a close friend who is putting together a great argumentative paper
surrounding human cloning issues. Many elements of our continuing
discussion have considerable relevance to extropian agendas
Two such issues, which apply not only to biotechnology, but directions and
applications of new scientific discovery and technological innovations in
general, are these:
1. The education of the public about scientific advances such that they can
make more informed decisions about technology and its regulation through
And, one logical means to this end,
2. Directed efforts to bridge the communication gap between scientific
communities and the public.
As an undergraduate, I took a class entitled Contemporary Biology and Human
Affairs, wherein I was assigned a large project to survey and evaluate a
representative population of American citizens. What (my) data suggested
was firstly, that a significant percentage of people reflect an unusual
stereotype of scientists (probably acquired through the accentuation of
'eccentric qualities' of a very small subset of scientists, in the media,
especially film [frankensteinian mad-scientist types]) secondly, people who
admit they are not educated about a given scientific finding (or the
technological applications thereof) often exhibit fear and mistrust by
default. Most people surveyed did not have clearly defined stances on
biotechnology issues such as human cloning. An unfortunate percentage of
people surveyed reported that they did aspire to learn more about those
issues. I believe that changing this latter attitude is probably
prerequisite to further efforts.
In addition to presentation of relevant issues to the voting community, the
manner in which new technologies are presented to the individuals who
represent them was also acknowledged in our discussion as critical. This
brings me to my current situation. In the interest of evaluating the manner
in which human cloning issues were presented to our representatives, we
would like to see if we could get our hands on a copy of the document that
was submitted to president Clinton when the government was intensely (and
publicly) interested in human cloning (and whether or not they should impose
a ban on it in the USA).
Wouldn't you like to know how the pro's and con's were presented to your
president? Wouldn't it be sort of useful for us to know how this and
related issues (to tie this back to extropian initiatives) are presented to
those that govern us? If we knew how they conceptualize new technologies,
we would be in a much more informed position from which to influence both
legislation and public opinion?
My first question: is this classified information?
My second question: if not, how do we acquire this information, or do any
among you possess it?
My third question: if it is classified, should it be?
Any feedback on this matter would be most appreciated.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Oct 02 2000 - 17:35:18 MDT