Monday, October 27, 2008

Watch Out Humanity! We're SCIENTISTS

Ok dudes, sometimes, science is bad. Sometimes people think that you can use science to make the human race better and then oops! you got sterilized! Sometimes chemicals are poured all over everything and then oops! you got cancer! But sometimes, the way science, and particularly synthetic biology is perceived is WAY scarier (and competent) than it actually is. Our favorite prediction is too good to paraphrase:

"Imagine an artfully designed fungus that looks like a hat; when you put it on, it digests your head and turns it into a still-conscious, rubbery Super Ball an inch across, suitable for easy launch into space. Once there, another fungus might then reconstitute your head and form a protective life-sustaining bubble around it."

He does qualify this a bit, and the rest of the article actually has some good points, so you should read it after you stop laughing about the fungus hats. The point I'm trying to make is that there are limits to what science can do that are grounded in real facts. Most people don't know a lot of facts about science so it's not that surprising that someone would hear "synthetic biology" and think of the worst. From now on, can we try to be as non-threatening as possible? Let's rename synthetic biology to "trying out new things and seeing what happens biology" or "unicorns and rainbows biology."

Maybe then there wouldn't be any more TV shows about evil scientists ruining everything.

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