I moderated a panel at Readercon last month called "The Catastrophe of Success" which was informed by a quote from Tennessee Williams, who apparently was something of a technophile (who knew?). He wrote, "We are like a man who has bought up a great amount of equipment for a camping trip ... but who now, when all the preparations and provisions are piled expertly together, is suddenly too timid to set out on the journey ... Our great technology is a God-given chance for adventure and for progress which we are afraid to attempt." When I suggested that Williams might be wrong and that sometimes it's a good idea for humanity in general and you and I in particular to take a pause and ask if the tech in front of us has more unintended tragic consequences than the potential for heroic achievement. II got quite a bit of push back when I advanced this idea. Especially about CRISPR and gene editing. Especially about controlling this new technology. Mostly people were saying that the scientists would police this technology.
I am not convinced.