Click for next page ( R2


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page R1
3 1 {l T' - 71 ,`1 by Steve Olson Board on Biology Commission on Life Sciences National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1989

OCR for page R1
NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS ~ 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW ~ Washington, DC 20418 This book is based on a symposium sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences. It has been reviewed according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and their use for the general welfare. Under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, the Academy has a working mandate that calls upon it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is President of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. The Council operates in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863. The Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the conduct of their services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. It is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Funding for the symposium and for the production of this book was provided by the National Research Council Fund, a pool of private, discretionary, nonfederal funds that is used to support a program of Academy-initiated studies of national issues in which science and technology figure significantly. The NRC Fund consists of contributions from a consortium of private foundations including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; the Academy Industry Program, which seeks annual contributions from companies that are concerned with the health of U.S. science and technology and with public policy issues with technological content; and the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering endowments. The views in this book are those of the speakers at the symposium and the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Academy of Sciences or the National Research Council. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Olson, Steve, 1956 Shaping the future: biology and human values / by Steve Olson for the Board on Biology. p. cm. Includes index. ISBN 0-309-03947-9. ISBN 0-309-03944-4 (pbk.) 1. Biology. 2. Biology Moral and ethical aspects. I. National Research Council (U.S.). Board on Biology. II. Title. QH311.044 1989 574-dc20 Copyright (if) 1989 by the National Academy of Sciences 89-12565 CIP No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise copied for public or private use, without written permission from the publisher, except for the purposes of official use by the United States Government. Printed in the United States of America

OCR for page R1
F1 oreworci In studying the philosophers Benedict Spinoza and Emmanuel Kant, we have come to realize the extent to which their investigations of metaphysics were a prelude to their ethics. For both of these men it was necessary to know what the world of nature was C`really" like before asking what the world of human relations should be. But Spinoza on the early side and Kant on the late bracketed the Newtonian revolution. Since that time it has been impossible to form a view of what the world is like without including physics along with epistemological and ontological ideas. With the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species, biology was joined to those ~lisciplines that constitute the is that precedes the ought to. At first, Social Darwinism became an explanatory theory of ethics, then an epithet, and now it returns to the arena of discourse in other forms. We are now about a century and a half past the Darwinian revolution, and ecology, ethology, and molecular biology have become parts of that now vast domain that must be understood as part of our attempts to lead a good life and fulfill our duties to others. The query 'CWhat is life?" is very much a part of asking, C`How should it be lived?" in light of the preceding, it seems altogether fitting that one of the events marking the opening of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering should be a symposium on biological research and human values. Such an event provides a chance to ask what we are and then turn to the vital question of who we are. The first query is a part of science proper; the second ... 111

OCR for page R1
interfaces with ethics. Ant] just as science constantly changes with new developments, we come to the startling discovery that ethics are not rigid but must also alter in response to our changing un(lerstanding of the world and the new technological milieu exterieur that we continually create. The vast social and environmental consequences of scientific discovery change the intellectual setting within which the discourse takes place. Thus, the ethical aspects of our inquiry are twofold: we still have the traditional problem of understanding the woric! and using that under- standing to determine how we should act. We also have a seconc] obligation imposed because our scientific understanding of the worIc! leads, through technology, to profound alterations of that world. As we have been instructed by allegory for a long, long time, tasting of the fruit of the tree of knowlecige is not necessarily an ethically neutral act. Biologists have two tasks in regard to human values. The first is to help in the constant exploration of how ethics must respond to new views of the biological world that emerge from laboratories and field researches. The second is ethically to monitor the effects of science and technology on our present activities and the future of human society. This book has many things to say about both issues. Few questions can be fully answered, but it is important that they are confronted. Scientists are now willing to talk self-consciously about ethics. That in itself is an important development. The present state of the planet and the rapidity of developments lenc! a certain urgency to scientists' concerns with ethics. Thus, this book on biology and human values comes at a propitious time. One is re- mincled of the words of a much earlier ethicist, Rabbi Hillel: "If not now, when?" Harold Morowitz George Mason University iv FOREWORD

OCR for page R1
Preface In 1988 the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering opened a new facility in Irvine, California-the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center to serve as a west coast conference center for their members and study groups ant] for those of their associated organizations, the institute of Medicine and the National Research Council. To commemorate the opening, a series of symposia were held on critical scientific and technical issues facing modern society. One considered the technologies and public policies affecting future sources of energy. Another looked at the state of mathematical literacy in the United States. And a third, on biological research ant] human values, furnished the basis for this book. As often happens within the National Academy of Sciences complex, the theme for the symposium derived in part from an earlier project. In 1985 the Committee on Research Opportunities in Biology, a unit of the Board on Biology under the National Research Council's Com- mission on Life Sciences, undertook the gargantuan task of surveying all of biology, from molecular genetics to ecology. Under its chairman Peter Raven, the committee sought to present the state of the art in biology, focusing on the technical and conceptual developments that have so greatly increased the pace of biological research. At the same time, the committee pointed out even if it could not always discuss in detail-the many links between scientific issues and ethical issues in biology. Advances in biological understanding have a direct impact on the diagnosis and treatment of disease, theories of human thought and behavior, and ideas about humanity's history and future. So in v

OCR for page R1
selecting a topic from the life sciences for the Beckman Center sym- posium, the intersection between biological research ant] human values was an obvious choice. The Board on Biology, under its chairman Francisco Ayala ant! cli- rector John Burris, set up an ad hoc committee to begin planning the symposium. Consisting of Francisco Ayala, John Dowling, Harold Horowitz, Michael Ruse, and Malcolm Steinberg, the committee sketched out the program for the symposium and began contacting potential speakers. Meanwhile, the Boarc! approached the National Research Council for funds to convert the basic materials presented at the sym- posium into a book. In this, the Boarc] was extending an effort that the Academy complex has macle in recent years to disseminate its work to a broac! audience by publishing a series of books written for nonscien- t~sts. The symposium brought together many of the leading hio]~io.~1 re ~L ~_ _ 1 1 . AT .1 ~- ~ _ C~ ~ err ana e~n~c~s~s In moron Americas both as presenters and at- tendees. As the list of speakers shows, four broad areas were covered during the two days of presentations: genetics, development, neuro- biology and behavior, ant! evolution and diversity. in general, the first two speakers in each session acIdresse`d the more technical aspects of biological knowledge, while the final speaker addressed ethical issues relating to that knowlecige. Genetics and Humankind Paul Berg, Stanford University Leroy Hood, California Institute of Technology Maxine Singer, Carnegie Institution of Washington Development and Health Marc Kirschner, University of California, San Francisco Barry Pierce, University of Colorado Arthur Caplan, University of Minnesota Neurobiology and Behavior Vernon Mountcastle, Johns Hopkins University Fernando Nottebohm, Rockefeller University Michael Ruse, University of Guelph Evolution and Diversity William Schopf, University of California, Los Angeles Francisco Ayala, University of California, Irvine Edward Wilson, Harvard University vi PREFACE

OCR for page R1
Each of the final three sessions concluded with a pane! cliscussion- moderatecl by Malcolm Steinberg' John Dowling, ant! Harold Morowitz' respectively-in which speakers took questions and elaborated on their presentations. Alan Walker of Johns Hopkins University contributed a lively after-dinner speech on human evolution. Peter Raven concluded the symposium by summing up the remarks of the speakers ant! placing them in a global context. This book was written using a variety of materials' inclucling the transcripts of the symposium, the publisher! books and articles of the speakers, and additional interviews with the speakers. Though it takes its overall form from the symposium' it departs from it in several ways. In particular' it includes enough background information to be read by relative newcomers to biology. As such' it seeks to present some of the leading ideas of biological research and ethical thought in a cIear' nontechnical fashion. All of the speakers at the symposium gave generously of their time, both before the symposium and after. Within the Commission on Life Sciences' Frances Walton ant! Kathy Marshall provided the adminis- trative help essential to organizing and holding the symposium. Several people at the National Academy Press worked hare] to see the book into print. Michael Edington edited the manuscript and shepherclec3 it through the production process. Dawn EichenIaub and Francesca Moghari de- signed the book and its cover. Two people deserve special mention. John Burris' director of the Board on Biology and executive director of the Commission on Life Sciences' was the guiding light behinc] the project from beginning to encI. Without his boundless energy anc] good judgment' this book would never have been possible. Finally, Betsy Turvene, executive editor of the National Academy Press7 offered the author invaluable encourage- ment and advice throughout the writing and publication of this book, as she has on many previous occasions. Steve Olson Washington, D.C. PREFACE vii

OCR for page R1
T0 Arnold and Mabel Beckman for their vision in establishing the Beckman Center and for their interest in the ethical issues affecting science, technology' and medicine.

OCR for page R1
Contents Tntrocluction Genetics and the Human Genome Essay: Science and Scientists from the Public~s Perspective 1 r 28 2 Biological Development ant! Cancer 33 Essay: Ethical Considerations in the Use of Human Materials 3 Neuroscience and Neuronal Replacement Essay: The Evolution of Ethics 4 Evolution and the Biosphere Essay: Preserving Biological Diversity Afterword Index 47 53 75 81 100 107 111 IX

OCR for page R1