Books et al.SCIENCE AND SOCIETY

Tough love for technology

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Science  19 Aug 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6301, pp. 756
DOI: 10.1126/science.aag2783

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Summary

The imperfection of a genetically engineered blue rose, the self-driving car crash, the orphan drug, the ever-presence of smart phones: The shortcomings and unforeseen uses of technology are knitted into the fabric of our lives in extraordinary and mundane ways. In The Ethics of Invention: Technology and the Human Future, Sheila Jasanoff—legal scholar and revered matriarch in the field of science and technology studies—invites us to consider technology not as a mere tool but as a constellation of norms, machines, and regimes that form interlocking and evolving new relationships. Searching the middle ground between "unbridled enthusiasm and anachronistic Luddism," Jasanoff urges us to be more ambitious in the care and tending of these relationships.