Who are we? Where do we come from? What does the future hold in store for us? In the realm of life sciences, these questions are laden with new meanings. Indeed, uncertainties arising from the pandemic make it even more urgent to pursue a radical reflection on our changed everyday existence, our production and consumption behaviour, our collective relationships, our relationship with nature and the planet, even our very model of civilization. Tracing the fundamental stages of biological research, this book tells the extraordinary story of humanity’s knowledge, from the origins of life to recent cutting-edge discoveries, such as the ability to modify and rewrite the genome of any living being. This is an exceptional handbook, equipping its readers to address the complexity of the world and prepare for the future. Only informed citizens will be able to make wise choices and help build a democracy based on “scientific citizenship”.
Manuela Monti teaches Stem Cell Biology at the University School for Advanced Studies in Pavia and works with research institutes in the United States and Japan.
Carlo Alberto Redi teaches Zoology at the University of Pavia, is president of the Fondazione Umberto Veronesi Foundation’s ethics committee, and is a member of Italy’s Accademia dei Lincei.