In this seminal book, Jeremy Rifkin explores the epic marriage between computer technology and genetic engineering, and the historic transition into the Age of Biotechnology. Already, Rifkin explains, our economy is undergoing a massive shift away from the Industrial Age and into an era in which giant life-science corporations are fashioning a bioindustrial world. Humanity is on the brink of wielding greater control over the shape of life--how we are born; how our food supply is created; the traits our children may have--than has ever been imagined. But with each step into this new era, we must ask ourselves: At what cost? Arguing that the world is on the threshold of a revolution of unparalleled impact, this book makes an impassioned plea for awareness of the environmental, commercial and moral implications of the new biotechnology.
In the "biotech" century, the author predicts that food may be grown indoors in giant bacteria baths, eliminating the need for farmers and soil; children may be gestated in artificial wombs outside the body; people may be stereotyped and discriminated against on the basis of their genotype, leading to a "genotocracy" and widespread acceptance of eugenics; and the environment may be devastated by genetic engineering, biological weapons and the depletion of the earth's gene pool, which is fast becoming patented intellectual property controlled by a handful of life-science corporations. In a chilling, but stimulating "wake-up" call, the author offers a controversial analysis of the genetic revolution.
One of the most popular social thinkers of our time, Jeremy Rifkin is the bestselling author of The European Dream, The Hydrogen Economy, The Age of Access, The Biotech Century, and The End of Work. A fellow at the Wharton School's Executive Education Program, he is president of The Foundation on Economic Trends in Bethesda, MD.