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Drexel University, MacAlister Hall, Liberty View Room 6th Floor, 3250 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA


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Master Class: “Anticipating the Future: Biotechnology and Science Fiction”

Monday, April 21, 2014

12:00 PM-2:00 PM

Rosalyn W. Berne, PhD, University of Virginia, Department of Science, Technology and Society


Biotechnology is a scientific undertaking and also a social one. As an imaginative endeavor, biotechnology explores, alters and experiments with life forms for use in creating applications that can enhance and improve the quality of human life. The biotechnology “revolution,” launched on a global scale many decades ago, has recently taken a direct course towards re-creating life. Yet there are still many choices to be made in shaping the futures that it may one day make possible.

Deep reflection and continual discourse is essential if biotechnology is to evolve in ethical, meaningful and sustainable ways. The imaginative work of recent science fiction both predicts and experiments with possible futures of our human existence, extrapolating the present into worlds yet to come. Rosalyn Berne melds the two, bringing essays written by scientists about biotechnology together with her own and others' science fiction stories. The intention of this pairing is to spawn dialectic, sparking the moral imagination in contemplation of what we may one day be, and what it may mean to be human as novel biotechnological endeavors continue to emerge.

To learn more about Berne, please visit her website.
*This event is sponsored by Drexel's College of Computing and Informatics and the Center for Science, Technology and Society.

Contact Information

Nirva LaFortune