Russell Powell F'13

Russell  Powell
Associate Professor
Philosophy
Boston University

ACLS Fellowship Program 2013
Assistant Professor
Philosophy
Boston University
Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity: A Philosophical Exploration of the Biotechnology Revolution

The prospect of human genetic engineering (HGE) raises distinct evolutionary issues with ethical ramifications that have not been systematically explored. Although bioethicists have appealed to evolutionary considerations in recommending prohibitions of HGE, these appeals are often based on an incomplete understanding of the biological concepts and empirical issues at stake, relying on flawed metaphors about organisms, genomes, evolutionary processes, and their interrelations that misinform ethical and regulatory treatments of HGE. The proposed monograph goes beyond surface metaphors to develop a rich, novel account of the metaphysical, epistemic and ethical dimensions of the new biosciences and their implications for the future of humanity.