In modern man's attempt to understand human nature, two major modes of perceiving human experience, the humanistic and scientific, have often been in conflict. C.P. Snow labelled this dichotomy " the two cultures." As the power of science and accompanying technology have grown in the past forty years, the distance between the two cultures has widened. Reflecting concern about this cleavage, some scientists have attempted to incorporate humanistic perspectives and goals into science. In the area of biology, this humanistic concern is demonstrated by such groups as the Institute of Society, Ethics, and the Life Sciences (Hastings-on-Hudson) and its highly successful Hastings Center Reports. In addition, new journals such as the Journal of Medical Ethics indicate increasing concern with the problem of humanizing science. A plethora of books emphasizing ethical implications of applied biology include Taylor's The Biological Time Bomb (1968), Augenstein's Come Let Us Play God (1969), Potter's Bioethics: Bridge to the Future (1971), Fletcher's The Ethics of Genetic Control: Ending Reproductive Roulette (1974), and Goodfield's Playing God: Genetic Engineering and the Manipulation of Life (1977). However, as with many things which seem quite new, inspection shows that these books represent only a new awareness of concerns which have long been of interest to mankind. For example, Goodfield reports that in the 17th century, more than one-third of the papers of the Royal Society were about social problems and the relationship of science to them.1
Ahl, Alwynelle S.; Krupka, Lawrence R.; Hiscoe, Helen B.; and McClary, Andrew
"Humanistic Biology: A General Education Approach,"
Perspectives (1969-1979): Vol. 9
, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/perspectives/vol9/iss3/6