Penn State

Naomi Altman - professor of statistics, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Oryx and Crake

Author: Margaret Atwood

Book Description:

Science fiction fascinates me. Besides exploring and sometimes suggesting extensions to the boundaries of science and technology, it provides the authors with an infinite number of plausible worlds in which to explore human behavior and morality. As a statistician who works in environmental, genomic and medical research, I am captivated by Margaret Atwood’s depiction of a world in which environmental degradation, genetic engineering and other extensions of today’s world have run amok. A horrific act of genocide to impose a new society may or may not offer redemption – but resonates in an era which has witnessed all too many genocides, some perpetrated by leaders promulgating a new society arising from the ashes of the dead. This book serves as a reminder that science and technology are not divorced from scientists or society. Canadian author Atwood is also known as a poet, literary critic and political and environmental activist.


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