Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 271–282 | Cite as

Forbidding Science: Some Beginning Reflections

  • Leon R. KassEmail author
Original Paper


Growing powers to manipulate human bodies and minds, not merely to heal disease but to satisfy desires, control deviant behavior, and to change human nature, make urgent questions of whether and how to regulate their use, not merely to assure safety and efficacy but also to safeguard our humanity. Oversight in democratic societies rightly belongs to the polity, not merely to self-appointed experts, scientific or ethical. Yet the task of governing the uses of dangerous knowledge is daunting, and there is little evidence that we have the will or the wisdom to do it well.


Dangerous knowledge Freedom and dignity Regulating science and technology Citizen control versus expert control President’s Council on Bioethics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American Enterprise InstituteWashingtonUSA

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