Category archives: Ethics

Is nature “natural” anymore?

Is nature “natural” anymore?

BiotechnologyEthics

By Silvia Román

It seems that we are definitely heading towards the bio-based society, a new way of interacting with the environment where fossil fuels won’t be needed anymore and “ more natural ” processes for producing energy, food and materials will prevail. Remarkably, this bio-turn often involves highly advanced biotechnology and strict competitive targets, both facts that […]

Ancient DNA Calling Out for “De-Extinction”  — How far can or should we go?

Ancient DNA Calling Out for “De-Extinction” — How far can or should we go?

BiologyBiotechnologyEthicsEvolutionGenetics

By F. Javier Carmona

Ever since the 1993 film based on Michael Crichton’s novel Jurassic Park was released, the thought of reviving extinct species using molecular biology techniques has been on the forefront of the collective imaginary. The idea seemed pretty simple: reading the genetic code of fossilized animals would provide the instruction manual to bring them back to […]

Je ne regrette rien (2): Consciuous decisions in the lab

Je ne regrette rien (2): Consciuous decisions in the lab

EpistemologyEthicsNeuroscience

By Jesús Zamora Bonilla

Psychologists and neurologists have been interested in the problem of free will since the beginning of their specialities, though the first clearly devised and relevant experiments on the topic were those of Libet and colleagues, in the early eighties. In this famous experiment, subjects who were before a clock, and whose brain electrical waves were […]

The moral limits of markets (1): of fines and gifts

The moral limits of markets (1): of fines and gifts

EconomicsEthics

By Jesús Zamora Bonilla

Israeli nurseries are particularly famous amongst economists (at least, amongst experimental economists). An already classical study shown that, following a ‘natural experiment’ in which some day-care centers opted for issuing a fine to parents for late children’s pickups, while other nurseries didn’t, not only helped to decrease (as expected) the frequency of late pickups, but […]