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Our Posthuman Future

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Our Posthuman Future

Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Humanity’s biological clock is ticking…

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


Francis Fukuyama, who notably proclaimed the end of history in his last great work, now declares that humanity’s biological clock is ticking, and time is running out for our leaders to make decisions that will guide the development of biotechnology. Blending the disparate realms of science, philosophy, economics, politics and religion in an ecumenical, well-balanced book, Fukuyama analyzes the implications of advances in biology, genetics, and a slew of new sciences that you’ve probably never even heard of. In so doing, he never skirts issues of right and wrong, concepts generally relegated to the sidelines in scientific texts. highly recommends this book to all readers, and suggests that it be made mandatory reading for scientists and politicians alike.


Go Ask Alice

Say you wake up Friday morning and the mere thought of going to work depresses you. No problem - you pop a little pill that has just the right mix of psychotropic drugs for your individual, genetically determined constitution, and off to work you go, brimming with enthusiasm, and not feeling the least bit drugged. When you arrive, however, you soon realize you’re a bit too ditzy to focus on your work. Also no problem - you just pop a capsule, a compound similar to Ritalin but tailored to your metabolism and without the side effects. Suddenly you are able to focus with pinpoint precision, and your boss is so impressed with your efficiency that by day’s end he gives you rare kudos for a job well done. (Indeed, you wonder if he might have popped a couple of mood enhancers himself.)

When you arrive home, you make a few calls and decide to make a night of it with some friends. You barely slept the night before, however, so you drink a certain concoction that will allow you to be energetic throughout the night, while feeling neither drowsy nor agitated, no matter how late it gets. And so the evening goes, as you adjust your chemical balance to suit your needs...

About the Author

Francis Fukuyama  is Bernard Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, located at Johns Hopkins University. He was appointed to the President’s Council on Bioethics in 2002. A resident of McLean, Virginia, he is the author of The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order; and Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity; as well as The End of History and the Last Man.

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