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Science and business are more entangled than ever before. This is good for economic growth, but can be bad for scientific authority

It has become a commonplace of our age that debate about science and technology is elbowing out the old themes of high politics. Godfrey Hodgson, elsewhere in this issue of Prospect, attributes this to the end of a “grand narrative” of two world wars and a cold war in which everyone’s future, at least in Europe, was directly bound up with events on the international political stage. Elemental anxieties about survival have not, however, disappeared. Rather, they have shifted ground from armed conflict to the big scientific controversies about modern life. Is over-population about to cause a cataclysm of disease…

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