History has been driven by scientific and technological change. Here we want to explore how human institutions, attitudes, and actions have enabled, mediated, and modulated such changes. Research choices are connected to societal values in many ways. While the conduct of science must always be insulated from political interference, scientists themselves work in institutions that are products of politics, economics, and culture. This module seeks to explore some of the ways human values affect and are affected by the goals and processes behind scientific endeavor.
Many of the materials found in this module come from a March 2002 event entitled “Living with the Genie: Governing the Scientific and Technological Transformation of Society in the 21st Century.” The event brought together a group of 300 scientists, journalists, policy makers, foundation leaders, and opinion leaders to explore the state of the scientific and technological enterprise and the implications for controlling and shaping that enterprise as we move into the new millennium. If you would like to revisit the original conference and see either part or all of the panels and materials prepared for it, please follow the conference site link at the top of the page.