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Giuseppe Testa

Governing the Future: the Intertwined Paths of Science and Ethics

Bioethics has become a key instrument in the governance of the life sciences, yielding a rich palimpsest of resources, discursive and institutional alike, through which technoscientific innovation is brought into alignment with normative commitments and political visions. Along the way, and most notably in common law countries, technoscientific and ethical/legal innovations have often displayed the hallmarks of a mutually constitutive dynamics that offers little evidence for the trite law-lag narrative. For this very reason, however, the often seamless integration of technoscientific and bioethical expertise has been criticized as a pronounced example of technocratic drift, with salient aspects of the human condition delegated to experts at the very moment in history when they become amenable to unprecedented degrees of biotechnological control. The challenge of our biotech future is therefore primarily one of governing the governance, ie. of letting our democratic commitment be itself the focus of vigorous innovation in order to enable a substantive and accountable deliberation over our new mastery over the living

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