In February 1997 Ian Wilmut, a Scottish biologist, announced that he had successfully cloned a sheep, Dolly, from the cells of a Finn Dorset ewe that had been dead for six years. The news that mammalian cloning from adult tissue was possible set off an excited debate among scientists, politicians, ethicists, and the general public about the event's implications and prospects for the cloning of a human being. This book surveys the debate, and for the first time presents Ian Wilmut's own thoughts on the possibility of human cloning.
The Human Cloning Debate is edited and introduced by Dr. Glenn McGee of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Bioethics. In addition to contributions by Wilmut and McGee, there is an authoritative, accessible explanation of the science of cloning by Potter Wickware, editor at the pre-eminent science journal Nature. Other chapters explore cloning's philosophical implications, argue for or against the technology, and present various religious and political perspectives on cloning. The book concludes with a short story by Richard Kadrey that explores creatively how cloning is likely to affect families and human relationships in the (possibly not-too-distant) future.
The Human Cloning Debate is a definitive treatment of one of the most intriguing and controversial issues at the close of the millennium. It presents for the first time in print the reflections of the scientist, Ian Wilmut, who brought the subject to the fore. It is essential for readers interested in issues of public policy, in recent developments in biotechnology, and in the intersection of science and philosophy.