Anthropologist Robert W. Sussman cautions that without the concept of culture,
today’s advances in genetics could lead to ethical failures.
(Credit: Martin Abegglen/Flickr)

SOCIETY & CULTURE – Posted by Gerry Everding-WUSTL on Monday, February 18, 2013 12:19

Can culture protect genetics from misuse?

WASHINGTON U. – ST. LOUIS (US) — In the past, good science has been used for unethical purposes, like eugenics. The concept of culture can protect genetics from a similar fate, an anthropologist argues.

Robert W. Sussman, a professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, says that science has struggled to understand the mysteries of “less-than-human” beings since the late 1400s when the Spanish Inquisition first formalized state persecution of Jews and Muslims.

And while the horrors of Nazi Germany exposed fatal flaws in science’s quest to build the master race, the ethical dilemmas posed by the science of eugenics are far from behind us.

Read more: Futurity.org – Can culture protect genetics from misuse?.

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