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Brave New World--Historical Context and Issues

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Emily Orser

on 6 March 2017

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Transcript of Brave New World--Historical Context and Issues

Our Brave New Worlds
20th Century Science
Early 20th Century Technology and Society
Aldous Huxley
world economic struggle
totalitarian governments, loss of identity
utopian ideal
The Great Depression
Industrialization and Technological Improvements
Henry Ford and the Model T
assembly line and mass production
Brave New Worlds
Aldous Huxley:
family of biologists, writers, and teachers
Humanist, pacifist, satirist
worked in a chemical plant in 1920s
One of the preeminent intellectuals of his time

Brave New World:
Written in 1931
Published in 1932
Aldous Huxley and Brave New World
Scientific Advances in Historical Context
19th C.
1903: evidence of vitamins proposed
1909: idea of genetic disease introduced
1910: first mapping of a gene to a chromosome
1918+: synthesis of genetics with evolution (neo-Darwinism)
1928: discovery of penicillin
1858: understanding that cells can only arise from pre-existing cells
1859: Darwin and Wallace: theory of evolution through natural selection
1865: Mendel's Laws of Inheritance; basis for genetics
1913: Bohr's model of the atom
1915: Einstein's Theory of General Relativity
early 20th C.
What happens next?
1930s onward: theory of chemical bonds; scientific study of animal behavior
1943: mutations in bacteria discovered
1944: evidence in bacteria that DNA is the genetic material
1952: Salk's polio vaccine
1953: Watson, Crick, and Franklin's discovery of DNA structure (double helix)
1964: genetic explanations proposed for animal social behavior
1973: advent of genetic engineering techniques
1974: principles of cell-mediated immunity; discovery of "Lucy"
1975: monoclonal antibodies created
1977: Sanger et al. complete the first DNA sequence of an organism
1983: AIDS virus identified
1985: genetic fingerprinting invented
1997: Dolly the sheep created by cloning
2001: publication of near complete sequencing of the human genome
The Kinsey Reports
Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948)
Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953)
Margaret Sanger
birth control advocate, sex educator, and nurse
established American Birth Control League (1921) which became Planned Parenthood
contributed to Supreme Court case legalizing contraception in US (1965)
Synthetic Non-Medical Drug Use
Benzedrine (bennies)
widely abused euphoric stimulant
Our Brave New Worlds?
stem cell research
artificial intelligence
3D printing
DNA robots
Stephen Hawking's series on sci channel:
Brave New World
what else is on the horizon?
population explosion

What about human nature worries you? What has changed about that ways humans behave and interact recently (last 5, 20, 50 years?) that worries you? What truly terrifies you?
What advances in science and technology worry you? What do you think people already or have the potential to misuse, misunderstand, and abuse?
Full transcript