The New Atlantis (journal)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The New Atlantis
The New Atlantis Cover - Summer 2012.jpg
EditorAri Schulman
PublisherThe Center for the Study of Technology and Society, The Ethics and Public Policy Center
Year founded2003 (2003)
Based inWashington, D.C.
WebsiteThe New Atlantis
ISSN1543-1215 (print)
1555-5569 (web)

The New Atlantis is a journal founded by the social conservative advocacy group the Ethics and Public Policy Center. The journal is not peer-reviewed, and covers topics about the social, ethical, political, and policy dimensions of modern science and technology.[1] The journal is published in Washington, D.C. by the Center for the Study of Technology and Society.[2] It is edited by Ari Schulman, having previously been edited by co-founders Eric Cohen and Adam Keiper.

The journal's name is taken from Francis Bacon’s utopian novella New Atlantis, which the journal’s editors describe as a "fable of a society living with the benefits and challenges of advanced science and technology."[3] An editorial in the inaugural issue states that the aim of the journal is "to help us avoid the extremes of euphoria and despair that new technologies too often arouse; and to help us judge when mobilizing our technological prowess is sensible or necessary, and when the preservation of things that count requires limiting the kinds of technological power that would lessen, cheapen, or ultimately destroy us."[4] Writing for National Review, editor Adam Keiper described The New Atlantis as being written from a "particularly American and conservative way of thinking about both the blessings and the burdens of modern science and technology."[5] New Atlantis authors and bioethicists publishing in other journals have also similarly referred to The New Atlantis as being written from a social conservative stance which utilizes religion.[6][7][8][9]


The New Atlantis tends to publish views in favor of technological innovation but wary of certain avenues of development. For example, the journal has generally advocated nuclear energy;[10] space exploration and development through public-private partnerships,[11] including manned missions to Mars;[12] biofuels;[13] and genetically modified foods.[14] But it has expressed ambivalent or critical views about developments in synthetic biology[15] and military technologies like drones,[16][17] chemical weapons,[18] and cyberwarfare.[19] Articles often explore policy questions on these and other issues, sometimes advocating particular policy outcomes, especially on health care,[20] environmental management,[21] and energy.[22]

The journal has published widely on bioethics, including issues such as stem cell research,[23] assisted reproduction,[24] cloning,[25] assisted suicide,[26] organ and tissue donation,[27] the purported link between vaccines and autism,[28] and informed consent.[29] Articles on these issues often highlight the potential for dangerous or degrading developments, including concerns over human dignity,[30] with many articles examining human enhancement,[31] and life extension,[32] and historical precedents for abuse in eugenics[33] and population control.[34]

The journal also features broader philosophical reflections on science and technology, and tends to be skeptical of what its authors consider to be speculative overreach common in popular discussions. Examples include articles that have defended the existence of free will in light of developments in neuroscience,[35] questioned the wisdom of using brain scans in courtrooms,[36] and described how growing knowledge of epigenetics has undermined common claims about genetic determinism.[37] While the journal has sometimes aired libertarian views about human enhancement and transhumanism,[38] its contributors generally tend to question whether technologies like artificial intelligence,[39] "friendly" artificial intelligence,[40] and genetic enhancement[31][41] are possible or desirable.

The journal has also published widely on the interpersonal effects of the Internet and digital technology. It has featured articles on subjects like Facebook,[42][43][44][45] cell phones,[46] multitasking,[47] e-readers,[48] GPS and navigation,[49] and virtual reality.[50] A 2006 article by Matthew B. Crawford advocating the intellectual and economic virtues of the manual trades[51] was noted as a best-of-the-year essay by New York Times columnist David Brooks,[52] and was subsequently expanded into the bestselling[53] book Shop Class as Soulcraft.[54] The journal also frequently publishes essays on philosophical and literary questions relating to science and technology.[55][56][57]


Sexuality and Gender Special Report[edit]

In August 2016, Paul R. McHugh, at the time a retired professor,[58] co-authored a 143-page review of the scientific literature on gender and sexuality in The New Atlantis, a non-peer reviewed journal published under the auspices of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a Christian-focused conservative think tank.[58][59][60] In September 2016 Johns Hopkins University faculty members Chris Beyrer, Robert W. Blum, and Tonia C. Poteat wrote a Baltimore Sun op-ed, to which six other Johns Hopkins faculty members also contributed, in which they indicated concerns about McHugh's co-authored report, which they said mischaracterized the current state of science on gender and sexuality.[61][62] More than 600 alumni, faculty members and students at the medical school also signed a petition calling on the university and hospital to disavow the paper. “These are dated, now-discredited theories,” said Chris Beyrer, a professor at the public health school and part of the faculty group that denounced McHugh's stance.[63][64][65] Brynn Tannehill, a board member of the Transgender United Fund wrote that "this isn’t a study, it’s a very long Opinion-Editorial piece."[66]

Other reception[edit]

Writing for the National Review in a 2003 column, the conservative author Stanley Kurtz described The New Atlantis as influential on thinking about science and technology.[67][68]

Richard John Neuhaus, late editor of the conservative journal First Things, wrote that The New Atlantis is "as good a publication as there is for the intelligent exploration of questions in bioethics and projections—promising, ominous, and fantastical—about the human future,"[69] and a writer in The American Conservative described the journal as a source "of fresh ideas on the Right."[70] National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg described The New Atlantis as "a new and interesting magazine" that "seems to be trying to carve out the space for the government to stop the more offensive aspects of biotechnology."[71]

By contrast, the liberal bioethicist Jonathan D. Moreno has said that the journal offers "a very dark vision" about science and technology, but that it "makes an important point about the need to worry about the ends as well as means in science"[72] and that its "writers were young, smart, and had a good understanding of the political process and the making of public policy."[8] Bioethicist Ruth Macklin criticized The New Atlantis as representative of a conservative movement in bioethics that is "mean-spirited, mystical, and emotional" and that "claims insight into ultimate truth yet disavows reason."[9]

The journal has particularly gained a reputation among the transhumanist movement for its criticism of human enhancement. James Hughes, a techno-progressivist and at times director of organizations such as the World Transhumanist Association and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, notes that the journal "has published influential attacks on artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, biotechnology, reproductive technology, and life extension." The artist/designer, Dr. Natasha Vita-More, wife of British transhumanist Philosopher, author, and cryonicist Max More, has described it as a "journal known as a ring of bioconservatives bent on opposing the cyberculture,". Meanwhile, the organization founded by her husband, the Extropy Institute, has called it "a high-powered rallying point for the neo-Luddites."[73]

Book series[edit]

The New Atlantis also publishes a book series, New Atlantis Books, an imprint of Encounter Books. To date, six books have been released:

  • In the Shadow of Progress: Being Human in the Age of Technology ISBN 9781594032080 (2008), by Eric Cohen[74]
  • Imagining the Future: Science and American Democracy ISBN 9781594032097 (2008), by Yuval Levin[75]
  • Neither Beast nor God: The Dignity of the Human Person ISBN 9781594032578 (2009), by Gilbert Meilaender[76]
  • Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism ISBN 9781594034763 (2012), by Robert Zubrin[77]
  • Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America ISBN 9781594037160 (2014), edited by Wilfred M. McClay and Ted. V. McAllister[78]
  • Eclipse of Man: Human Extinction and the Meaning of Progress ISBN 9781594037368 (2014), by Charles T. Rubin[79]


  1. ^ "Welcome to The New Atlantis". Reason. May 5, 2003. Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  2. ^ "The Center for the Study of Technology and Society — About". The Center for the Study of Technology and Society. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  3. ^ "Why We Are Called The New Atlantis". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  4. ^ Cohen, Eric (Spring 2003). "The New Politics of Technology". The New Atlantis.
  5. ^ Keiper, Adam (May 29, 2003). "The New Atlantis Turns Ten". The Corner.
  6. ^ "The Paradox of Conservative Bioethics".
  7. ^ "St. Francis, Christian Love, and the Biotechnological Future".
  8. ^ a b Berger, Sam; Jonathan D. Moreno (2010). "Introduction". In Sam Berger and Jonathan D. Moreno (ed.). Progress in Bioethics: Science, Policy, and Politics. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press. p. xviii. ISBN 978-0262517423.
  9. ^ a b Macklin, Ruth (January–February 2006). "The New Conservatives in Bioethics: Who Are They and What Do They Seek?". The Hastings Center Report. 36 (1): 34–43. doi:10.1353/hcr.2006.0013. PMID 16544839.
  10. ^ "Nuclear Energy". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  11. ^ Simberg, Rand (Fall 2010). "In Search of a Conservative Space Policy". The New Atlantis.
  12. ^ Zubrin, Robert (Winter 2004). "The Human Explorer". The New Atlantis.
  13. ^ "Biofuels". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  14. ^ Adler, Jonathan (Summer 2012). "How Not to Label Biotech Foods". The New Atlantis.
  15. ^ "Synthetic biology". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  16. ^ Singer, P.W. (Winter 2009). "Military Robots and the Laws of War". The New Atlantis.
  17. ^ Ofek, Hillel (Spring 2010). "The Tortured Logic of Obama's Drone War". The New Atlantis.
  18. ^ Tucker, Jonathan B. (Fall 2009). "The Future of Chemical Weapons". The New Atlantis.
  19. ^ Ford, Christopher A. (Fall 2010). "The Trouble With Cyber Arms Control".
  20. ^ "Health care". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  21. ^ "Environmentalism". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  22. ^ "Energy". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  23. ^ "Stem cell research". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  24. ^ "Assisted reproductive technologies". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  25. ^ "Cloning". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  26. ^ "End of life". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  27. ^ "Organ transplantation". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  28. ^ Nicol, Caitrin (Fall 2007). "Shot in the Dark". The New Atlantis.
  29. ^ Schulman, Ari N. (Spring 2012). "What is the Body Worth?". The New Atlantis.
  30. ^ "Human dignity". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  31. ^ a b "Enhancement". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  32. ^ "Agelessness". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  33. ^ "Historical eugenics". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  34. ^ "Contemporary eugenics". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  35. ^ Tallis, Raymond (Summer 2010). "How Can I Possibly Be Free?". The New Atlantis.
  36. ^ Snead, Carter (Winter 2008). "Neuroimaging and Capital Punishment". The New Atlantis.
  37. ^ Talbott, Stephen L. (Summer 2010). "Getting Over the Code Delusion". The New Atlantis. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012.
  38. ^ Bailey, Ronald (Summer 2011). "The Case for Enhancing People". The New Atlantis.
  39. ^ "Artificial intelligence". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  40. ^ Keiper, Adam & Schulman, Ari N. (Summer 2011). "The Problem with 'Friendly' Artificial Intelligence". The New Atlantis.
  41. ^ "Genetic engineering". Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  42. ^ Boyd, Brian (Fall 2006). "The Dotcomrade". The New Atlantis.
  43. ^ Rosen, Christine (Summer 2007). "Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism". The New Atlantis.
  44. ^ Scruton, Roger (Summer 2010). "Hiding Behind the Screen". The New Atlantis.
  45. ^ Waisman, Sebastian (Summer 2008). "We Are the Change We've Been Waiting For". The New Atlantis.
  46. ^ Rosen, Christine (Summer 2004). "Our Cell Phones, Ourselves". The New Atlantis.
  47. ^ Rosen, Christine (Spring 2008). "The Myth of Multitasking". The New Atlantis.
  48. ^ Rosen, Christine (Fall 2008). "People of the Screen". The New Atlantis.
  49. ^ Schulman, Ari N. (Spring 2011). "GPS and the End of the Road". The New Atlantis.
  50. ^ Koganzon, Rita (Summer 2008). "The World Made New". The New Atlantis.
  51. ^ Crawford, Matthew B. (Summer 2006). "Shop Class as Soulcraft". The New Atlantis.
  52. ^ Brooks, David (December 14, 2006). "The Sidney Awards". The New York Times.
  53. ^ "Best Sellers". The New York Times. July 19, 2009. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  54. ^ Crawford, Matthew B. (2009). Shop Class as Soulcraft. Penguin. ISBN 978-0143117469.
  55. ^ "Hawthorne: Science, Progress, and Human Nature". The New Atlantis. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
  56. ^ Matlack, Samuel (Summer 2012). "The Physicists at Fifty". The New Atlantis.
  57. ^ Hughes, Austin L. (Fall 2012). "The Folly of Scientism". The New Atlantis.
  58. ^ a b Dawn Ennis. "Human Rights Campaign Sets Sights on Johns Hopkins After Controversial Trans Report". NBC News. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  59. ^ McHugh Paul R., Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences
  60. ^ Ennis, Dawn (September 1, 2016). "Human Rights Campaign Sets Sights on Johns Hopkins After Controversial Trans Report". NBC News. Archived from the original on September 1, 2016.
  61. ^ "In 'Sun' op-ed, Johns Hopkins faculty members disavow report on gender, sexuality". 2016-09-29. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  62. ^ "Bishops appoint sexual abuse review panel," The Baltimore Sun.
  63. ^ Nutt, Amy Ellis (2017-04-05). "Long shadow cast by psychiatrist on transgender issues finally recedes at Johns Hopkins". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  64. ^ Allen, Samantha (2017-03-24). "Anti-LGBT Doc Paul McHugh: I Will Not Be Silenced". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  65. ^ "Original Letter signatories" (PDF). 2017-03-25. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  66. ^ Tannehill, Brynn; Fund, ContributorBoard member of the Trans United (2017-03-24). "Debunking the New Atlantis Article On Sexuality And Gender". HuffPost. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  67. ^ Kurtz, Stanley (May 29, 2003). "Brave New World of Dna?". The Corner. Archived from the original on March 3, 2014.
  68. ^ Moreno, Jonathan D. (October 2007). "Biotechnology and the New Right: Neoconservatism's Red Menace". American Journal of Bioethics. 7 (10).
  69. ^ Neuhaus, Richard John (October 6, 2005). "A number of readers have." On the Square.
  70. ^ Bramwell, Austin (August 29, 2005). "Defining Conservatism Down". The American Conservative.
  71. ^ Goldberg, Jonah (June 16, 2003). "Ones & Zeroes Have Consequences". National Review.
  72. ^ "Point Counterpoint". Science. 318 (5851): 725. 2 November 2007. doi:10.1126/science.318.5851.725d.
  73. ^ "About the Vital Progress Summit". Extropy Institute. Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  74. ^ Cohen, Eric (2008). In the Shadow of Progress: Being Human in the Age of Technology. New York: Encounter Books. ISBN 9781594032080.
  75. ^ Levin, Yuval (2008). Imagining the Future: Science and American Democracy. New York: Encounter Books. ISBN 9781594032097.
  76. ^ Meilaender, Gilbert (2009). Neither Beast nor God: The Dignity of the Human Person. New York: Encounter Books. ISBN 9781594032578.
  77. ^ Zubrin, Robert (2012). Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism. New York: Encounter Books. ISBN 9781594034763.
  78. ^ McClay, Wilfred M.; McAllister, Ted V., eds. (2014). Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America. New York: Encounter Books. ISBN 9781594037160.
  79. ^ Rubin, Charles T. (2014). Eclipse of Man: Human Extinction and the Meaning of Progress. New York: Encounter Books. ISBN 9781594037368.

External links[edit]

Official website