Science Friction

Bioethicist Jonathan Moreno discusses the battle over science in America.
October 29, 2011

With evolution, climate change and stem cell research in constant debate, the modern American political forum has become a battleground for champions of science and guardians of traditional values. Jonathan Moreno explores this issue in his new book The Body Politic: The Battle Over Science in America.

Moreno is the David and Lyn Silfen Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, of History and Sociology of Science, and of Philosophy. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and editor-in-chief of Science Progress.

In this audio Q&A, he explores the conflict surrounding science in America, how this issue has been influenced by our nation’s past, and the implications for its future.

What are some of the issues raised in The Body Politic: The Battle Over Science in America?

How has bioethics evolved into what you call biopolitics?

In your book, the clash over science in America can be divided into two camps: bioconservatives and bioprogressives. What are the defining features and concerns of each group?

How has the nation’s history contributed to this clash over science in America?

The 21st century has been called the Century of Biology. How does this complicate our political system?

Many fear that the United States, as the leader in biotechnology, is losing its foothold to countries like China and Singapore. Are we still at the forefront?

This month marked the 10th anniversary of the Anthrax attacks. Compared to 10 years ago, how has biopreparedness in the United States improved?

How does the United States move forward when it comes to issues involving science? What role does Penn play in the future of this debate?