The Corner

The New Frontier

The latest issue of The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology and Society is out and available online. The New Atlantis is a serious attempt to come to grips with the social and moral implications of developments that promise to transform human nature itself. TNA’s editor, Eric Cohen, has a thoughtful piece on the relevance of bioethics in wartime; it is a systematic overview it gives of the state of play in our biotechnology debates. I was riveted by Christine Rosen’s piece on “ectogenesis,” “Why Not Artificial Wombs?” Rosen explains what is and isn’t happening in the race to perfect an artificial womb. She also explores the implications of this radical attempt to sever reproduction from sexuality. Proponents of artificial wombs range from philosopher Peter Singer to radical feminist Shulamith Firestone. The challenge to the family posed by artificial wombs could be immense. For a foreshadowing of what may be a core cultural debate of the future, check out Rosen’s article. There are also several pieces in this issue of The New Atlantis that I have not yet had a chance to read, but which look important. The lead article, by Adam Keiper, is called, “A new Vision for NASA.” With reports that the administration is considering a major new initiative in space, Keiper’s piece could have a serious impact. But all these pieces look fascinating, including those I haven’t had a chance to mention. Have a look.

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