Mad scientist holds world hostage. So the story ran in the books and B-movie serials of my youth, later to be refigured with a glaze of camp in the evil geniuses of the Bond saga and slathered with outright parody in the Austin Powers series. Absurd fiction? What about the hideous "experiments" conducted by Dr. Josef Mengele on Jewish "subjects"? And where did Aum Shinrikyo get their ample supplies of sarin when they decided to hurry up the apocalypse?We're not like that! scientists protest. Those are rare exceptions—awful, yes, but you can't judge science by those aberrations. They are right. We need to look at "normal science," science as it is practiced at thousands of sites all around the world in a vast network of knowledge and experiment, rigorous testing and peer review, cooperation and fierce competition. Today we celebrate one of the supreme achievements of "normal science": the completion of a "rough draft" of the human genome, the generic blueprint of the human organism. In the rest of this just-begun century, we will work out the implications of this map. We can only guess at the extraordinary gains that will come in treating hereditary diseases and other malfunctions that have brought so much misery.But even as we celebrate this great achievement, we should feel wary—not of "mad scientists," though there are such, but of the dark side of "normal science."Consider an op-ed piece by David Baltimore from Sunday's New York Times. Baltimore won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1975; he is currently president of the California Institute of Technology. He epitomizes "normal science" at its most successful.So how does he mark this occasion, the completion of the mapping of the human genome? He begins with a rhetorical ...

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