Technology and Human Responsibility

Issue # 172            April 22, 2008
A Publication of The Nature Institute
Editor: Stephen L. Talbott (

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Editor's Note
Laying Bare the Unintended Consequences of Genetic Engineering - a project of The Nature Institute
Quotes and Provocations
      Economic Bubbles -- and an Overlooked Distinction
      What's (Still) Killing Higher Education?
About this newsletter


There's been a six-month hiatus since the last issue of NetFuture. The following developments will help you understand why:

** We announce below the fruits of a major project we have undertaken here at The Nature Institute, designed to set the public conversation about genetic engineering upon a much firmer scientific basis.

** The University Press of Kentucky has this month released a new book that Nature Institute co-founder Craig Holdrege and I have co-authored: Beyond Biotechnology: The Barren Promise of Genetic Engineering. As it happens, many of the chapters in this book first appeared as articles in NetFuture.

The book is part of the new "Culture of the Land" series launched by the Press. Edited by Georgetown College's Norman Wirzba, the series is under the guidance of Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, David Orr, Bill McKibben, Vandana Shiva, and others. It "is devoted to the exploration and articulation of a new agrarianism that considers the health of habitats and human communities together". We were happy to receive the following commendation from bestselling author, Michael Pollan: "Craig Holdrege and Steve Talbott's analysis of genetic engineering is the smartest, most original, and most compelling I have seen anywhere, in journalism or academia".

You can check out the book at or by calling the Press at 800-839-6855.

** As it happens, a second book in the same series was also released this month, and it includes cha