By Amy Lynn Fletcher
Does extinction must be perpetually? because the international extinction problem speeds up, conservationists and policy-makers more and more use complicated biotechnologies akin to reproductive cloning, polymerase chain response (PCR) and bioinformatics within the pressing attempt to save lots of species.
Mendel's Ark considers the moral, cultural and social implications of utilizing those instruments for flora and fauna conservation. Drawing upon assets starting from technological know-how to technology fiction, it specializes in the tales we inform approximately extinction and the meanings we ascribe to nature and know-how.
The use of biotechnology in conservation is redrawing the bounds among animals and machines, nature and artifacts, and lifestyles and loss of life. the recent rhetoric and perform of de-extinction will hence have major repercussions for desolate tract and for society. The measure to which we interact jointly with either the prosaic and the glorious features of biotechnological conservation will form the bounds and ethics of our wish to restoration misplaced worlds.
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Additional resources for Mendel's Ark: Biotechnology and the Future of Extinction
The following discussion draws upon these insights, but shifts focus to an analysis of what I term biocybernetic nature and the implications of molecularization and digitalization for how we understand nature and respond to the extinction crisis. For example, Waldby argues, referring to embryonic stem cells and oocytes, that “biotechnology tries to gain traction in living processes, to induce them to increase or change their productivity along specified lines, intensify their self-reproducing and selfmaintaining capacities” (Waldby 2002, p.
23), then social media seems to be the perfect technological conduit to a truly participatory environmentalism. Yet we need to consider the fact that what might be called the participation imaginary has animated environmentalists for decades without necessarily stopping the extinction crisis (though it may have prevented it from being even worse). For example, Ralph W. Schreiber, former Curator of Ornithology at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum (LANHM) from the 1970s, is remembered today for introducing important changes to improve the visitor’s experience of the exhibits.
Whether an electronic encyclopedia of life enhances or depresses the average citizen’s concern for actual endangered species would seem to be a question of the utmost importance to a project like the EOL. Just as an oldfashioned encyclopedia could enhance learning only if the books were opened and read, an online “encyclopedia of life” will not automatically connect information to politics and cannot provide complete answers to the wicked problems of habitat destruction, over-population and climate change.