Science, Technology and Constitutional Rights: An Interdisciplinary Forecast for the US Congress
Author: Coates, Vary T.
Source: Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, Volume 14, Number 4, December 1989 , pp. 354-361(8)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
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Abstract:In honor of the bicentennial of the United States Constitution, a Congressional agency undertook an interdisciplinary analysis of the implications of new and emerging science-based technologies for constitutionally protected civil rights and liberties. Four areas of scientific research and development were identified as most likely to give rise to significantly new technological capabilities. Some of these could challenge established assumptions about individual responsibility, civil liberties, and the powers of government: information science, molecular biology, materials science, and social science, particularly as they find applications in communications and publishing, criminal justice, medicine, public health, and bioengineering. Constitutional precedents related to freedom of the press, open scientific communications, the rights of those accused or convicted of crime, due process, equal protection of laws, and individual privacy will have to be re-examined. Science is offering individuals new choices and forcing them to make new decisions, even as it brings into question some assumptions about free will and accountability.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Office of Technology Assessment, us Congress, Washington, DC, USA
Publication date: 1989-12-01