Our fates lie in our genes and not in the stars, said James Watson, codiscoverer of the structure of DNA. But Watson could not have predicted the scale of the industry now dedicated to this new frontier. Since the launch of the multibillion-dollar Human Genome Project, the biosciences have promised miracle cures and radical new ways of understanding who we are. But where is the new world we were promised? In Genes, Cells, and Brains, feminist sociologist Hilary Rose and neuroscientist Steven Rose take on the bioscience industry and its claims. Examining the rivalries between public and private sequencers, the establishment of biobanks, and the rise of stem cell research, they ask why the promised cornucopia of health benefits has failed to emerge. Has bioethics simply become an enterprise? As bodies become increasingly commodified, perhaps the failure to deliver on these promises lies in genomics itself.
HILARY ROSE is Emerita Professor at Bradford University and Visiting Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics. STEVEN ROSE is Emeritus Professor of Life Sciences at the Open University. Long active in the politics of sciences, their joint books include Science and Society and Alas Poor Darwin.