Ethics and the Human Genome

Due March 8 (Rewrite due March 22)
Typed, double-spaced, stapled, and with pages numbered
2 copies

Length is flexible, but aim for 4-5 pages.

Please attach a completed Writer Response form to the copy for your fellow.



·         In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley describes an imaginary society where “everybody is happy now.”  Its leaders guarantee happiness, from birth to death, by using scientific technologies to systematically shape inhabitants’ minds and bodies, even before birth. We see throughout the book that they must provide citizens a medical utopia in order to sustain their broader social utopia covering all aspects of life.

·         For this paper, I want you to focus primarily on their utopia’s essential core—using science, technology, and medicine to redesign, reconstruct, and enhance human bodies and minds.


Your Task


·         Several course readings have described, or hinted at, the medical utopia that genomics seems to promise.

·         Identify key general themes, not tiny peripheral matters.


Evaluation criteria


·         Provides clear thesis and coherent, well-reasoned argument.

·         Makes thoughtful, incisive, non-obvious points.

·         Supports points with relevant evidence and specific examples.

·         Stays focused; is concise; doesn’t confuse the reader with vague, fuzzy words, sloppy sentences, or irrelevant points. 




·         Reread this assignment after you have written your paper. Did you actually address it, fully?

·         Do your best on the first version; it is not just a “draft.” You will regret it at rewrite time if you treat it as just a rough draft.

·         Study these: Sample comments on Paper 1 (first version) from previous semesters. These comments focus on crucial *general* matters, such as having an argument and expressing it effectively.