The cloning story has developed quickly since the birth of Dolly the sheep. However, many of the questions raised early on are still being asked and need to be answered. What do Dolly and her fellow mouse, cow, pig, goat, and monkey clones mean for science ? And for society ? Why do so many people respond so fearfully to cloning ? What are the ethical issues raised by cloning animals, and in the future, humans ? How are the makers of public policy coping with the stunning fact that an entire animal can be reconstructed from a single adult cell ? And that humans might well be next ? The Cloning Sourcebook addresses all these questions, and does so in a way that is unique in the cloning literature-by grounding what is effectively an interdisciplinary conversation upon a solid scientific foundation. In the first section of the book, the key scientists responsible for the early and crucial developments in cloning speak to us directly and other scientists evaluate and comment upon these developments.
The second section explores the context of cloning, and includes sociological, mythological, and historical perspectives on science, ethics, and policy. The authors also examine the media's treatment of the Dolly story, and its aftermath-both in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The third section-on ethics-contains a broad range of papers, written by some of the major commentators. The fourth section addresses legal and policy issues. It features individual and collective contributions by those who have actually shaped public policy on reproductive cloning, therapeutic cloning, and related contentious bioethical issues-in the United States, Britain, and the European Union.
Animal cloning continues to be used for agricultural and medicinal purposes_the latter, in combination with transgenics. Human cloning for therapeutic purposes has just been made legal in Britain. The goal is to produce, not a child, but an early embryo, and then derive stem cells that are immunologically matched to the donor. Two human reproductive cloning projects have been announced and there are almost certainly others about which we know nothing. Sooner or later a cloned human will be born.
Many lessons can be learned from the cloning experience. Most importantly, there needs to be public conversation about the permissible uses of new and morally contentious technologies. Scientists, the media, ethicists and policy makers have their roles to play, but cutting edge science is everybody's business. The Cloning Sourcebook provides the tools required for us to participate in shaping our own futures.