Fall 2003 :: Genetically Modified Culture
Genetics. On April 14, this year, the International
Human Genome Sequencing Consortium (initiated in the US by the Department
of Energy) announced the
completion of the Human Genome Project. Such grand scientific announcements
recall those made by the US and Soviet Union during the "Space Race."
While those "giant steps for mankind" excited millions of US
and Soviet citizens, the same citizen body was preparing for the possibility
of nuclear destruction. The technology that allowed for the spectacle
of space exploration was also part of the imaginary spectacle of "nuclear
holocaust." Imaginary because it existed as a fear in the global
imagination, while very material conflicts, with traditional guns and
tanks,were played out in "smaller" parts of the world. The history
of what we now call genetics is of course one with a tainted
past, to put it mildly. It's safe to say that, while the claims for
improving our lives may seem promising, there haven't been many instances
of such claims
living up to such promises. And the "smaller" parts of the
world are - whether culturally, biologically or geographically smaller
- once again the site of colonization and resistance.
Thanks, once again, to everyone who contributed work and ideas and made this installment possible.
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