2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

Futuristic and Dystopian Literature and Society's Perception of Human Genetics
Emma J. Brockschmidt
Mr. Pamela J. Ryan and Dr. Sarah Mohler, Faculty Mentors

A recent bioethics study has demonstrated that society has a tendency to focus on its fears rather than its hopes, the dystopian side of a possible utopia, to anxiously question what terrible things could develop if this continues rather than if only we could achieve such-and-such ideal This paper serves to dissect these societal fears and their foundations, as demonstrated in two popular novels by Aldous Huxley and Ayn Rand, and to consider how their conclusions and messages may pertain to human genetic engineering. It also works to define and analyze what society is so afraid of, and to explore the measures necessary to prevent these dystopian fears from coming to fruition. These measures consist of placing a great weight on the value of fellow human beings, protecting at almost all costs their individuality, free will, and ability to love and to create, even as technologies continue to develop.

Keywords: Utopia, Dystopia, Genetic Engineering, Popular Literature, Aldous Huxley, Ayn Rand, Societal Perceptions


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 108-1
Location: VH 1324
Time: 8:00

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