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(Solved by Expert Tutors) Constitution Day is September 17. To quote Bob Dylan, "The times they


are a changin'." Our modern world paradigms and technology have brought to light some interesting discussions regarding our country's constitution. So, I thought it would be interesting to ask the following questions:If the Constitution was written today, given what we now know about science and technology, particularly chemistry (and even more specifically biochemistry and molecular biology), what do you think it would include/not include, and why? How would it be different? Would there be a rewording based on what we know now? If so, how and wherein? There are lots of things to think about here, but just for a few examples...(1) Does a scientist have a constitutional right to do research on any subject? Or are there topics that should be "forbidden knowledge"? [1st amendment] (2) Does freedom of the press apply to scientific publications? Electronic publications distributed over the internet? Even if it is something related to genetic reconstitution of potentially lethal viruses or development of biochemicals that could lead to mass destruction if misused? [1st amendment] (3) Do you have a privacy interest or a property interest in your own biochemistry (i.e. your DNA)? Does it belong to you, or to nature? [4th amendment] (4) Would life-long quarantine of AIDS sufferers be unconstitutional? What about mandatory AIDS testing (it is a biochemical test)? (5) If a violent, mentally ill murderer could be reliably cured with modern pharmaceutical chemistry or genetic (biochemical) therapy, would he or she have a constitutional right to refuse treatment?1 Try to keep the discussion cordial and respectful, but differing opinions are always fun to hear :).1Questions taken or paraphrased from U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment. Science, Technology, and the Constitution?Background Paper, OTA-BP-CIT-43. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, September 1987. Available at http://www.fas.org/ota/reports/8722.pdf.

 


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