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Science and the Retreat From Reason

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 20 June 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1915
  1. Stuart W G Derbyshire, assistant professor
  1. University of California Los Angeles, USA

    John Gillott, Manjit Kumar

    Monthly Review Press, £12.95, pp 248

    ISBN 0 85345 987 8

    Exaggerating the importance of science to modern industry, health care, transportation, communication, commerce, and so on would be difficult. This reliance on science, however, coexists with a widespread sense of unease regarding scientific progress.

    Although there is general support for genetic science as a means to tackle disease, for example, the enthusiasm is half hearted. Beyond a cure for disease is the nagging suspicion of “designer babies” and a Brave New World. Gillott and Kumar locate this ambivalent attitude to science as an aspect of “a broader rejection, by society, of the project of progress” that dates from the …

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