"Science" is becoming synonymous with science fiction largely due to 24x7 media sources writing about future humans, for better or for worse. We may not admit it to our online followers but there's increasing science friction as well; the concern that some tech company really will create alter-humans. A genome editing technology like CRISPR is good but it’s very new technology in the lab – and unless one is keeping up with Twist Bioscience or the NHGRI and their advancements, it’s admittedly hard science to understand. What do non-scientific media resort to most often? Behaviors! The actions taken by each person in uncountable ways and situations; they are less complex to digest. Often, tech media qualifies genetics as the science of behaviorism and report on researchers who are leading in the discovery of behavior-associated genes. No soul, no human will, no choice or conscience, no religious truths – just behavior genes driving behaviors. This is what happens when genetics gets tossed in with corporate narratives and “disruption” becomes their goal.
The NIH has a clear mission to research numerous diseases and their causes, establish labs, set up cohorts, test theories and advise on marketplace applications. Then, flip the coin and we see one House of Representative from North Carolina and the American Benefits Council promoting H.R.1313, a bill to override all employee protections where genetic data could be made available to a health management firm. The bill is in three committees and opposed by hundreds of organizations. The corporate resulting behavior: bio-discrimination.
Here’s the friction in the science fiction: we have technology to focus on improving human health or on genetically altering social behaviors through science.