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Gabriel García Márquez, Edna Doré, Richard Hoggart, Gerardo D'Ambrosio, John Shirley-Quirk
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The Evolution of Utopia

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 18 December 1991

Dr Steve Jones, Reader in Genetics at University College, London delivers his final Reith lecture, in a series about the new biological insight into humanity.

In this lecture, Dr Jones explores the long history of genetic engineering including Frances Galton's founding of the 'science' of eugenics and its consequences.

There has long been a history of attempted genetic engineering by parents trying to dictate the sex of their offspring by various, almost always futile, and often painful, methods. It is now possible to do this with almost 100% success by separating female and male eggs in the test tube. Dr Jones examines the moral implications and varying views on such procedures, and how gene-therapy provokes the same sort of moral questions.

He argues that the biology of the future will not be very different to that of the past and it may even be that humans are at the end of their evolutionary road; as near to our biological utopia as we're ever likely to get.


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