After a hiatus brought on by several new jobs, a brutal semester, and general panic, the blog is back. Really, I never went away, as I’ve been blogging away merrily at Discover Magazine’s Science Not Fiction. But sometimes I felt the need to write about things that just weren’t on the radar for SNF. For example, the new Kanye album (which is now old, I know, thanks H.A.M.) is ri-dic-dic-dic-ulous, but how was I supposed to tell everyone that on Discover? I couldn’t. Thus, Pop Bioethics is born from the fringe and nerdy ashes of Pop Transhumanism.

Why the name change? you may ask. Because, as it turns out, the aspect of transhumanism that attracted me was the bioethics part of it. I’m not a computer scientist or a singulitarian. I’m a closet biology nerd who has spent too much time reading science fiction, critical theory and analytic philosophy, which just so happens to make me a perfect candidate to study bioethics. Other perfect candidates include med students who do not have a god complex; law students who do not laugh when you say the word “ethics;” and scientists who begrudgingly acknowledge that not everything is empirical.

What is bioethics? Bioethics is what happened when doctors and scientists realized they might, MIGHT, be doing some things wrong. For example, just deciding to not tell a patient that he had cancer or committing someone to a mental institution against her will may have ethical ramifications that aren’t all rainbows and dandelions. Bioethics is now a sprawling field that deals with medical practices, scientific research methods, human reproduction, genetic engineering, cloning, family structures, gender norms, the DSM, pharmaceuticals, prosthetics, neuroscience, and a raft of other topics that ultimately circle around a single nexus of medical science, ethics, and the human being.

But what’s the “pop” in Pop Bioethics then, eh? It’s everything else I talk about, which will range from Lady Gaga (her new album comes out soon, it’ll probably be awful and I’ll love it all the same) to new movies to old literature to weird paintings to whatever wondrous things the internet bestows upon my addled mind. I have great friends with strange thoughts and I live in Brooklyn with my partner Sara and my cat Angus, so my personal adventures will seep into the daily blogging as well.

Welcome, readers, old and new, to Pop Bioethics. Come! Join me!

Image by micahb37 via Flickr Creative Commons