Risk Necessary for Scientific Progress, Says AC Grayling
News Jul 10, 2009
Risk Necessary for Scientific Progress, Says AC Grayling - Richard Savill , Telegraph (UK), July 10, 2009 http://www.telegraph.co.uk An element of risk was necessary if scientific progress was to be made, despite concerns about "meddling with nature", A C Grayling, said. The philosopher and author told the annual Ways with Words literary festival at Dartington Hall, Devon, that no one should be afraid of "trying to get the benefits of certain possibilities." He said: "Meddling with nature is a genuine concern, for example with genetically modified crops, but it is also the case that human intelligence is a product of nature. "We are ourselves a product of nature. The things we do to ourselves and to our environment is a natural outcome of the fact that we are creative, intelligent and exploratory. "We should not be afraid of trying to get the benefits of certain possibilities. A certain kind of courage or risk taking is worthwhile." He said the creation of human sperm using stem cells could help infertile men who would really love to be fathers." Prof Grayling was the opening speaker at the nine-day festival which is sponsored by The Daily Telegraph. Other speakers include Charles Moore, the Daily Telegraph columnist and former editor, Andrew Motion, the Poet Laureate, and Roy Hattersley, the former Labour minister.
Habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and the loss of genetic diversity are the main factors driving the extinction of many wild species, and the few eastern massasauga rattlesnakes remaining in Illinois have certainly suffered two of the three. A long-term study of these snakes reveals, however, that – despite their alarming decline in numbers – they have retained a surprising amount of genetic diversity.READ MORE